Background: Understanding sex differences is critical for improving outcomes in patients with cardiovascular conditions. Sleep and psychological disturbances contribute to the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases, and important sex differences persist in their incidence and association with clinical outcomes. Methods: Sex-based variation in sleep and psychological disturbances were assessed in consecutive patients with cardiovascular diseases in a single university hospital. The prevalence of insomnia, sleep disordered breathing (SDB), anxiety, and depression was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), nocturnal pulse oximeter, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). The effect of sex on the prevalence of sleep and psychological disturbances as well as their associations was quantified using multivariate logistic regression models. Results: Among 1,233 patients (mean age 63.6 years, 25% women), women were significantly less likely than men to experience SDB (17.5% vs 31.5%, p < 0.001), but more likely to report an increased burden of insomnia (54.7% vs 43.3%, p = 0.001) and depression (23.9% vs 16.7%, p = 0.004). Insomnia was associated with depression, which was more remarkable among women (p value for interaction: 0.039). SDB was associated with anxiety among women but not men (p value for interaction: 0.003). There was no significant difference in the prevalence of anxiety between women and men. Conclusions: Among patients with cardiovascular disease, women reported an increased burden of insomnia and depression compared to men. The association between sleep and psychological disturbances may be more pronounced in women, suggesting that cardiologists should increase efforts for identification of such comorbidities and administer corresponding treatment, especially in women.
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