Snoring and insomnia are not associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in the Northern Manhattan Study

Alberto Ramos-Sepulveda, William Wohlgemuth, Hannah Gardener, Dalia Lorenzo, Salim Dib, Douglas M. Wallace, Bruce Nolan, Bernadette Boden-Albala, Mitchell S V Elkind, Ralph L. Sacco, Tatjana Rundek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Sleep-disordered breathing is a risk factor for stroke, but its association with subclinical atherosclerosis remains controversial. Snoring and insomnia are frequently comorbid with sleep-disordered breathing and may contribute to stroke. Data on the relationship between snoring and insomnia with atherosclerotic disease are sparse. We investigated the relationship between markers of subclinical atherosclerosis, insomnia, snoring, and carotid intima-media thickness, in the Northern Manhattan Study. Methods: A group of 1605 participants (mean age 65 ± 8 years; 40% men; 61% Hispanic, 19% black, 20% white) who had carotid intima-media thickness measurements performed was assessed for self-reported sleep habits. Habitual snoring was defined as self-reported snoring greater than four times per week. Presence of insomnia was based on three items extracted from the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. Carotid intima-media thickness was expressed as a mean composite measure of intima-media thickness in the carotid bifurcation, common, and internal carotid artery. Multivariate linear regression models were used to identify associations between snoring, insomnia, and carotid intima-media thickness. Results: Habitual snoring was present in 29% of the subjects and insomnia in 26%. There was a higher prevalence of self-reported snoring (84%) and insomnia (66%) among Hispanics than non-Hispanics. The mean total carotid intima-media thickness was 0·95 ± 0·09 mm; among those with self-reported snoring was 0·94 ± 0·09 mm; and among those with insomnia was 0·95 ± 0·08 mm. After controlling for age, gender, race-ethnicity, body mass index and cardiovascular risk factors, snoring (P=0·986) and insomnia (P=0·829) were not significantly associated with increased carotid intima-media thickness. Conclusion: Snoring and insomnia were not significantly associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in this population-based community cohort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-268
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Stroke
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • African American
  • Hispanic
  • Insomnia
  • Intima-media
  • Risk factors
  • Sleep
  • Snoring
  • Sonography
  • Thickness
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology


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