Sleep duration and mortality in Korean adults: a population-based prospective cohort study

Sohyeon Kwon, Hyeyoung Lee, Jong Tae Lee, Min Jeong Shin, Sangbum Choi, Hannah Oh

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Increasing evidence suggests that sleep duration is associated with risks of various diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and certain types of cancer. However, the relationship with mortality is not clear, particularly in non-European populations. In this study, we investigated the association between sleep duration and mortality in a population-based prospective cohort of Korean adults. Methods: This analysis included 34,264 participants (14,704 men and 19,560 women) of the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2007–2013 who agreed to mortality follow-up through December 31, 2016. Sleep duration was self-reported at baseline and was categorized into four groups: ≤4, 5–6, 7–8, and ≥ 9 h/day. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the associations with mortality (all-cause as well as CVD- and cancer-specific), adjusting for potential confounders. Results: During up to 9.5 years of follow-up, we identified a total of 1028 deaths. We observed the lowest mortality at 5–6 h/day sleep. Compared with 7–8 h/day of sleep, short (≤4 h/day) and long (≥9 h/day) sleep were associated with a 1.05-fold (95% CI = 0.79–1.39) and 1.47-fold (95% CI = 1.15–1.87) higher all-cause mortality, respectively. After additional adjustment for self-rated health, the positive association with short sleep disappeared (HR = 0.99, 95% CI = 0.75–1.32) and the association with long sleep was slightly attenuated (HR = 1.38, 95% CI = 1.08–1.76). Long sleep was also nonsignificantly positively associated with both cancer-mortality (HR = 1.30, 95% CI = 0.86–1.98) and CVD-mortality (HR = 1.27, 95% CI = 0.73–2.21). There was no statistically significant evidence for nonlinearity in the relationships between sleep duration and mortality (all-cause as well as CVD- and cancer-specific). Effect modification by age, sex, education, and occupation were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that long sleep duration is associated with an increased all-cause mortality in Korean adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1623
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1


  • Asian
  • Cohort study
  • Death
  • Mortality
  • Race
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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