Sleep patterns, genetic susceptibility, and incident cardiovascular disease: a prospective study of 385 292 UK biobank participants

To quantify the association of combined sleep behaviours and genetic susceptibility with the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Methods and results

This study included 385 292 participants initially free of CVD from UK Biobank. We newly created a healthy sleep score according to five sleep factors and defined the low-risk groups as follows: early chronotype, sleep 7–8 h per day, never/rarely insomnia, no snoring, and no frequent excessive daytime sleepiness. Weighted genetic risk scores of coronary heart disease (CHD) or stroke were calculated. During a median of 8.5 years of follow-up, we documented 7280 incident CVD cases including 4667 CHD and 2650 stroke cases. Compared to those with a sleep score of 0–1, participants with a score of 5 had a 35% (19–48%), 34% (22–44%), and 34% (25–42%) reduced risk of CVD, CHD, and stroke, respectively. Nearly 10% of cardiovascular events in this cohort could be attributed to poor sleep pattern. Participants with poor sleep pattern and high genetic risk showed the highest risk of CHD and stroke.


In this large prospective study, a healthy sleep pattern was associated with reduced risks of CVD, CHD, and stroke among participants with low, intermediate, or high genetic risk.