People with chronic kidney disease may be vulnerable to the deleterious effects of poor sleep (6.5 hours per night), according to a new study. Chronic kidney disease is characterised by a gradual loss of kidney function over time and may eventually lead to kidney failure, leading patients to undergo dialysis or a kidney transplant. Chronic kidney disease can be caused by diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders. Previous research has said that chronic kidney disease could lead to a higher risk of cancer.
Previous studies have suggested that poor sleep is common among patients with chronic kidney disease, but few studies have looked at the effects of sleep on the progression of the disease. Lead researcher Dr Ana Ricardo from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s college of medicine, and Kristen Knutson, associate professor of neurology and preventive medicine at Northwestern University, examined the association between sleep duration and quality on progression of chronic kidney disease among 431 patients with chronic kidney disease.
The participants had a mean age of 60-years-old, in which 48% were women and half had diabetes. The participants were asked to wear an accelerometer on their wrists for five to seven days to measure motion and provide information on duration of sleep as well as periods of wakefulness. Ricardo noted that sleep is seriously impaired in patients with chronic kidney disease.
The findings indicated that the average hours of sleep among the participants were 6.5 hours per night. Interrupted sleep, also known as sleep fragmentation, was associated with a slightly elevated risk of developing kidney failure. Over the five-year follow-up, the results suggested that 70 participants developed kidney failure and 48 participants died.
Ricardo noted that each hour less of sleep duration increases the risk for deterioration of kidney function over time. The patients with chronic kidney disease often have co-occurring hypertension, obesity and diabetes. The research appeared in the journal of the American Society of Nephrology.