Introduction This study investigates the association of sleep duration with risk of all-cause mortality among elderly Brazilians using data from a 9-year population-based cohort study.
Methods it applies a multivariable longitudinal categorical and continuous analysis using Cox proportional hazards models. This analysis used data from the Bambui Health and Ageing Study, conducted in Bambuí city in southeastern Brazil. The study population comprised 1512 (86.8%) of all eligible 1742 elderly residents.
Results In multivariable analysis using sleep duration as categorical variable and controlling for multiple measures of sociodemographic and health status those who slept nine hours or more per night were found to be at higher risk of mortality than those who slept seven hours. Excluding those whose deaths occurred within two years after entry, this association remained significant. In analyses using sleep duration as a continuous variable a linear correlation was found between sleep duration and mortality in all adjusted models in the whole sample and following exclusion of those whose deaths occurred within 2 year after entry. Both linear and quadratic terms were significant reflecting a predicted relationship, with mortality predominantly increasing in association with long sleep duration but with the addition of a slight decrease in association with shorter sleep duration.
Conclusion Long sleep duration rather than short sleep duration was principally associated with all-cause mortality in this sample. It is therefore reasonable to suggest that clinicians should be aware of the potential adverse prognosis associated with prolonged sleep.