Matt Hoffman, Senior Editor for NeurologyLive, has covered medical news for MJH Life Sciences, NeurologyLive’s parent company, since 2017. He hosts the NeurologyLive Mind Moments podcast, as well as Second Opinion on Medical World News. Follow him on Twitter @byMattHoffman or email him at email@example.com
The initiative, funded by Jazz, will include educational multimedia content such as a series of podcasts with expert interviews discussing sleep and related disorders.
Jazz Pharmaceuticals recently announced that it has financially partnered with the American Heart Association (AHA) in support of the latter’s sleep health educational content, aimed at helping improve the health and well-being of individuals with healthy sleep struggles and/or those with sleep disorders.1
The initiative—information on which is available at heart.org—will include educational multimedia content with the funds from Jazz. The company noted that as estimates suggest more than 30% of Americans fail to get the recommended 7 hours of sleep each night, the goal of this initiative is to attempt to play a hand in the reversal of this negative trend.
"Jazz's purpose is to innovate to transform the lives of patients, and the American Heart Association's consumer education aims to positively affect the lives of people struggling with healthy sleep or sleep disorders," said Bruce Cozadd, MBA, chairman and chief executive officer, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, in a statement. "We are proud to support the American Heart Association to educate and empower Americans to live healthier lives through the power of sleep with an emphasis on sleep disorders, comorbidities, and well-being. At Jazz, we are committed to maximizing our social impact and working with like-minded organizations to best serve our communities."
Both the AHA and Jazz acknowledged that the literature has established that sleep disorders—and even disrupted sleep alone—can put individuals at an increased risk for cardiometabolic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, myocardial infarction, stroke, and coronary artery disease. In comparison, healthy amounts of sleep are linked to better health, healthy weights, reduced stress levels, and better cognitive performance.
The content that the AHA will create with the financial support from Jazz will be geared toward the general public in addition to those individuals with sleep disorders and their loved ones. According to Jazz, it will include a series of podcasts with sleep experts discussing slumber, as well as the disorders and comorbidities associated with poor sleep. No specifics about when this content will be available were mentioned.
"For nearly 100 years, the American Heart Association has been fighting heart disease and stroke, working to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives," said Eduardo Sanchez, MD, MPH, FAAFP, chief medical officer for prevention, American Heart Association, in a statement. "Sleep is an important element to heart health and overall health, and it is important to continue to raise awareness of the positive health effects of quality sleep and to address the negative health consequences associated with poor sleep."
This initiative, while already supported by the available literature in sleep medicine, is additionally bolstered by a number of recently published works showing the impact poor sleep and sleep conditions can have on individual well-being and health. Just days after this announcement from Jazz, data from an analysis of the Penn State Adult Cohort suggested that insomnia accompanied by objective short sleep duration is linked to an increased prevalence of cognitive impairment, particularly as it relates to cardiometabolic health.
Those data revealed that those who reported poor sleep or chronic insomnia who slept for fewer than 6 hours were twice as likely to have cognitive impairment and possible vascular cognitive impairment compared with those who slept more than 6 hours. The analysis included 1524 adults (mean age, 48.9 years [±13.4]) and was conducted by Julio J. Fernandez-Mendoza, PhD, clinician-scientist, Penn State Hershey Sleep Research & Treatment Center, Penn State Health, and colleagues.2
“These data are among the first to indicate that patients who complain of insomnia and who sleep objectively short in the lab have a higher prevalence of mild cognitive impairment, particularly that associated with cardiometabolic risk factors,” Fernandez-Mendoza told NeurologyLive.
Additionally, data from Ariel A. Williamson, PhD, DBSM, psychologist, Sleep Center, and faculty member, PolicyLab and the Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and colleagues suggested that children with longitudinal sleep problems are linked with negative outcomes on a number of measures of child well-being experienced by age 10 or 11 years, highlighting the gap in the early identification and matching intervention for children. They analyzed data from the first 6 waves of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children–Birth Cohort, consisting of 5107 children.
They observed that 5 distinct sleep problem trajectories developed over time, and that the children most affected by sleep problems persistently experienced the greatest deficiencies across each outcome, save for cognitive skills. The 5 sleep problem trajectories noted were persistent sleep problems through middle childhood (accounting for 7.7% of the sample), limited infant/preschool sleep problems (accounting for 9.0%), increased middle childhood sleep problems (accounting for 17.0%), mild sleep problems over time (accounting for 14.4%), and no sleep problems (accounting for 51.9%).3