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STUDY OBJECTIVES: The prevalence of sleep disturbances and heart failure increases with age. We aimed to evaluate the associations of incident heart failure and cardiac dysfunction with changes in sleep quality. METHODS: This prospective population-based study was conducted in the Rotterdam Study. Of the 3445 eligible persons (mean age 72.0±7.1 years) available for cross-sectional analyses, 8.9% (n = 307) had prevalent clinical heart failure. In longitudinal analyses, 1989 eligible persons (mean age 70.0±5.8 years) were followed for an average of 6.5±0.4 years, of which 4.6% (n = 91) had prevalent or incident clinical heart failure. Heart failure was assessed according to European Society of Cardiology criteria. To estimate cardiac function, we measured left ventricular fractional shortening, left ventricular systolic function, and E/A ratio by echocardiography. Heart failure and cardiac dysfunction were studied with linear regression in relation to sleep quality, assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. RESULTS: No associations between clinical heart failure and sleep quality were observed in cross-sectional analyses. Clinical heart failure predicted a reduction of sleep quality (B = 1.00 points on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; 95% CI 0.40, 1.60) in longitudinal assessment. This association was driven by the sleep onset latency and sleep quality components of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Cardiac dysfunction was not related to sleep quality in cross-sectional or longitudinal analyses. CONCLUSIONS: Clinical heart failure, but not cardiac dysfunction measured by echocardiography, increases the risk of poor sleep quality in the general population over time. These findings suggest that clinical manifestations of heart failure negatively affect sleep.

Original publication




Journal article


J Clin Sleep Med

Publication Date





117 - 121


Sleep quality, echocardiography, epidemiology, heart failure, population-based, Aged, Comorbidity, Female, Health Surveys, Heart Failure, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Netherlands, Prospective Studies, Sleep Wake Disorders