Researchers have found a link between sleep duration and HDL cholesterols in children, reports Healio.

In a prospective study, Birken and colleagues analyzed data from 597 healthy children participating in TARGet Kids!, a primary care practice-based research network in Canada. Children aged 0 to 6 years were recruited between December 2008 and February 2016, and followed at scheduled well visits at age 6 months or younger, 6 to 12 months and 18 months, and then annually from age 2 years (mean baseline age, 28 months; mean follow-up age, 55 months). Primary exposure was 24-hour sleep duration measured from age 1 to 3 years; parents completed a questionnaire that asked, “How many hours does your child usually spend sleeping in a 24-hour period?” Researchers used continuous cardiometabolic risk “cluster scores” combining components of adult metabolic syndrome to assess the risk level in the cohort; scores were quantified as the sum of z scores of waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, glucose, triglycerides and inverse HDL cholesterol. A lower cluster score indicates lower cardiometabolic risk. Secondary outcomes included examining sleep duration and individual cardiometabolic risk components and BMI z score. Researchers used linear regression analysis to assess the association between early childhood sleep duration and cardiometabolic risk in later childhood.