Sleep Length, Quality Linked To Risk For Falls, Fractures

- Dec 13, 2018-

Both short and long sleep duration and poor sleep quality are associated with increased odds of recurrent falls in women, according to a study published online Nov. 21 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.


Jane A. Cauley, Dr.P.H., from the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues assessed the association between self-reported sleep and falls and fractures among 157,306 women (aged 50 to 79 years) participating in the Women's Health Initiative. Participants were prospectively questioned each year about sleep quality, sleep duration, and insomnia, as well as about falling two or more times ("recurrent falling").


The researchers found that after adjustment for comorbidity, medications, and physical function, women who were short sleepers (no more than five hours) and long sleepers (at least 10 hours) had increased odds of recurrent falls (odds ratio [OR], 1.28 and 1.25, respectively). Increased odds of recurrent falls were also associated with poor sleep quality, insomnia, and more sleep disturbances. Short sleep was associated with an increased risk for all fractures and specifically upper limb, lower limb, and central body fractures, with hazard ratios ranging from 1.1 to 1.13 (P < 0.05). There was no association with hip fractures.


"Results suggest that interventions aimed at improving sleep may reduce the risk of falls," Cauley said in a statement.


Two authors disclosed financial ties to Merck & Co.