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Shorter sleep duration decreases bone mineral density

Short sleep duration is closely related to several diseases but evidence of an association between insufficient sleep and bone health has been limited. The present study published online on August 12, 2011 in the journal, Bone, was aimed to examine the relationships between sleep duration and bone mineral density (BMD) in Chinese women. 602 women aged 18–80 years were analyzed. Sleep duration was collapsed to form categories of 5 hours or less, 6 hours, 7 hours, 8 hours, and 9 hours or more. Total and regional BMD were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Women with a short sleeping duration were more likely to have lower total and all body regional BMD. Compared to those who slept 8 hours, individuals who slept 5 hours or less and 6 hours had significant lower total and regional BMD. The authors concluded that decreased sleep duration was closely associated with lower BMD, especially in middle-age and elderly women. This finding will hopefully lead to better osteoporosis prevention since sleep is a modifiable risk factor (not available to date on PubMed; doi:10.1016/j.bone.2011.08.008).

Dr. Angela MacNeil

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