PLoS Biol. 2020 Jun 4;18(6):e3000726. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000726. eCollection 2020 Jun.
Why does poor-quality sleep lead to atherosclerosis? In a diverse sample of over 1,600 individuals, we describe a pathway wherein sleep fragmentation raises inflammatory-related white blood cell counts (neutrophils and monocytes), thereby increasing atherosclerosis severity, even when other common risk factors have been accounted for. Improving sleep quality may thus represent one preventive strategy for lowering inflammatory status and thus atherosclerosis risk, reinforcing public health policies focused on sleep health.