Journal Articles

The Association Between Sleeping Time and Metabolic Syndrome Features, Among Older Adults Living in Mediterranean Region: The MEDIS Study

February 22, 2018

Georgousopoulou, Ekavi N., D’Cunha, Nathan M., Mellor, Duane D., Tyrovolas, Stefanos, Naumovski, Nenad, Foscolou, Alexandra, Bountziouka, Vassiliki, Gotsis, Efthimios, Metallinos, George, Tyrovola, Dimitra, Piscopo, Suzanne, Valacchi Giuseppe, Tsakountakis, Nikos, Zeimbekis, Akis, Tur, Josep-Antoni, Matalas, Antonia-Leda, Polychronopoulos, Evangelos, Lionis, Christos, Sidossis, Labros, Panagiotakos, Demosthenes B., and MEDIS Study Group. “The Association Between Sleeping Time and Metabolic Syndrome Features, Among Older Adults Living in Mediterranean Region: The MEDIS Study.” Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders. February 2018, 16(1): 20-28.

Author Affiliations:

Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Science and Education, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece.
Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, Faculty of Health, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia.
School of Life Science, Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom.
Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu, Fundació Sant Joan de Déu, CIBERSAM, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
Nutrition, Family and Consumer Studies Office, University of Malta, Msida, Republic of Malta.
Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy.
Animal Science Department, Plants for Human Health Institute, NC State University, Kannapolis, North Carolina.
Clinic of Social and Family Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece.
Health Center of Kalloni, General Hospital of Mitilini, Mitilini, Greece.
Research Group on Community Nutrition and Oxidative Stress, Universitat de les Illes Balears & CIBERobn, Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
Department of Kinesiology and Health, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.


Background: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) as a combination of features has been known to significantly increase cardiovascular disease risk, while MetS presence is linked to lifestyle parameters, including physical activity and dietary habits; recently, the potential impact of sleeping habits has also become an issue under consideration. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of sleep quantity in several MetS components.

Methods: Design: a cross-sectional observational study. Setting: 26 Mediterranean islands (MEDIS) and the rural Mani region (Peloponnesus) of Greece. Participants: during 2005–2017, 3130 older (aged 65–100 years) Mediterranean residents were voluntarily enrolled. Measurements: dietary habits (including MedDietScore assessment), physical activity status, sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle parameters (sleeping and smoking habits), and clinical profile aspects, including MetS components [i.e., waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, fasting glucose, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C)], were derived through standard procedures.

Results: The number of daily hours of sleep was independently associated with greater waist circumference [b coefficient/hr = 0.91, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.34–1.49], higher LDL-cholesterol levels (b/hr = 3.84, 95% CI: 0.63–7.05), and lower diastolic blood pressure levels (b/hr = −0.98, 95% CI: −1.57 to −0.39) after adjusting for participants’ age, gender, body mass index, daily walking time, level of adherence to Mediterranean diet, and smoking status. No association was revealed between hours of sleep per day and fasting glucose, triglycerides, HDL-C, and systolic blood pressure.

Conclusions: Increased hours of sleep is an indicator of metabolic disorders among elderly individuals, and further research is needed to identif

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