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Inflammation, Sleep, Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease.

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Evidence is emerging that disturbances in sleep and sleep disorders play a role in the morbidity of chronic conditions. However, the relationship between sleep processes, disease development, disease progression and disease management is often unclear or understudied.

Numerous common medical conditions can have an affect on sleep. For example, diabetes or inflammatory conditions such as arthritis can lead to poor sleep quality and induce symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue. It has also been suggested that poor sleep may lead to the development of cardiovascular disease for which an underlying inflammatory component has been proposed. It is therefore important that the development and progression of such disease states are studied to determine whether the sleep effect merely reflects disease progression or whether it may be in some way causally related. Sleep loss can also have consequences on safety related behaviours both for the individuals and for the society, for example the increased risk of accidents when driving while drowsy. Sleep is a complex phenotype and as such it is possible that there are numerous genes which may each have a number of effects that control an individual's sleep pattern.

This review examines the interaction between sleep (both quantity and quality) and parameters of cardiovascular risk. We also explore the hypothesis that inflammation plays an essential role in cardiovascular disease and that a lack of sleep may play a key role in this inflammatory process.

Aim: To review current evidence regarding the endocrine, metabolic, cardiovascular and immune functions and their interactions with regard to sleep, given the current evidence that sleep disturbances may affect each of these areas.

Keywords: Sleep; cardiovascular disease; inflammation; innate immunity; obesity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Clinical Sciences Research Institute, Clinical Sciences Building-UHCW Campus, Warwick Medical School, Clifford Bridge Road, Coventry, CV2 2DX, UK.

Publication date: April 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Vascular disease is the commonest cause of death in Westernized countries and its incidence is on the increase in developing countries. It follows that considerable research is directed at establishing effective treatment for acute vascular events. Long-term treatment has also received considerable attention (e.g. for symptomatic relief). Furthermore, effective prevention, whether primary or secondary, is backed by the findings of several landmark trials.

    Vascular disease is a complex field with primary care physicians and nurse practitioners as well as several specialties involved. The latter include cardiology, vascular and cardio thoracic surgery, general medicine, radiology, clinical pharmacology and neurology (stroke units). Current Vascular Pharmacology will publish reviews to update all those concerned with the treatment of vascular disease. For example, reviews commenting on recently published trials or new drugs will be included. In addition to clinically relevant topics we will consider 'research-based' reviews dealing with future developments and potential drug targets. Therefore, another function of Current Vascular Pharmacology is to bridge the gap between clinical practice and ongoing research.

    Debates will also be encouraged in the correspondence section of this journal.
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