The Link Between Sleep Deprivation and an Increased Risk of PAD

A new study published in the European Heart Journal Open has found a link between sleep deprivation and a higher risk of peripheral artery disease (PAD).[0] Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, led by Dr. Shuai Yuan, studied the link between sleep duration and daytime napping and the risk of PAD in 53,416 adults from Sweden. A case-control study with 28,123 PAD cases and 128,459 controls from the Million Veteran Program (MVP) and a cohort of 452,028 individuals from the U.K. Biobank (UKB) were used to replicate the analyses.[1] An assessment of the relationship between sleep-related traits and PAD using two-sample Mendelian randomization was conducted using data from 31,307 PAD cases and 211,753 controls in a causal inference-based analysis.[1]

The study found that sleeping less than five hours each night was linked to a 74 per cent increased risk of developing PAD.[2] The researchers noted that sleeping problems are among the top ranked complaints in PAD patients.[3] In addition, they found that interventions to improve sleep may help prevent or treat PAD, and interventions to treat PAD may improve sleep.

For those with long COVID, insomnia is often related to pain and is resistant to treatment.[4] Doctors suggest implementing good sleep hygiene, including regular bedtimes and no screens late at night. Due to the possibility of underlying health issues, such as sleep apnea, physicians recommend that individuals who are having difficulty sleeping should consult a sleep specialist.[4]

Matthew, who wrote about her experience for the online news outlet Axios, saw positive changes after four months.[4] She is glad that the symptoms have decreased by 60-70%, even though they have not completely disappeared.[5] She recounts her initial infection as a “mild” case, and the most alarming symptoms were shortness of breath, labored breathing, and heart palpitations.[4] She also suffered from insomnia and explained that “any little task took way too much energy. Just taking a shower, I had to rest for three hours after that.”[6]

The American Heart Association has incorporated sleep as a key component of its checklist of cardiometabolic health.[7] This document gives adults full points in the sleep category for sleeping 7-9 hours daily.[7] Doctors say it's critical to stick to your best sleep hygiene for optimal health and well-being.

0. “Short Sleep Duration Linked to Increased Risk for PAD” HealthDay News, 17 Mar. 2023,

1. “Short Sleep Duration Linked to Increased Risk for PAD” Lebanon Democrat, 17 Mar. 2023,

2. “Short Night-Time Sleep Linked With Nearly Doubled Risk Of Clogged Leg Arteries” Anti Aging News, 17 Mar. 2023,

3. “Lack of sleep could nearly double risk of clogged leg arteries” Chanute Tribune, 16 Mar. 2023,

4. “A crippling impact of long COVID? Insomnia.” Yahoo Life, 17 Mar. 2023,

5. “COVID-19 Symptoms: Does Coronavirus Infection Cause Insomnia?” Medical Daily, 18 Mar. 2023,

6. “New study says insomnia is another issue for people with long COVID” CBS Philly, 17 Mar. 2023,

7. “Vascular Events Arguably Related to Too Little Sleep, Not Oversleeping” Medpage Today, 16 Mar. 2023,

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