The Sleep Heart Health Study: Design, rationale, and methods

Stuart F. Quan, Barbara V. Howard, Conrad Iber, James P. Kiley, F. Javier Nieto, George T. O'Connor, David M. Rapoport, Susan Redline, John Robbins, Jonathan M. Samet, Patricia W. Wahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

860 Scopus citations


The Sleep Heart Health Study (SHHS) is a prospective cohort study designed to investigate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and other sleep- disordered breathing (SDB) as risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease. The study is designed to enroll 6,600 adult participants aged 40 years and older who will undergo a home polysomnogram to assess the presence of OSA and other SDB. Participants in SHHS have been recruited from cohort studies in progress. Therefore, SHHS adds the assessment of OSA to the protocols of these studies and will use already collected data on the principal risk factors for cardiovascular disease as well as follow-up and outcome information pertaining to cardiovascular disease. Parent cohort studies and recruitment targets for these cohorts are the following: Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (1,750 participants), Cardiovascular Health Study (1,350 participants), Framingham Heart Study (1,000 participants), Strong Heart Study (600 participants), New York Hypertension Cohorts (1,000 participants), and Tucson Epidemiologic Study of Airways Obstructive Diseases and the Health and Environment Study (900 participants). As part of the parent study follow-up procedures, participants will be surveyed at periodic intervals for the incidence and recurrence of cardiovascular disease events. The study provides sufficient statistical power for assessing OSA and other SDB as risk factors for major cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction and stroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1077-1085
Number of pages9
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1997


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Epidemiology
  • Risk factors
  • Sleep apnea


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