Study Objectives: Although insufficient sleep is a risk factor for metabolic syndrome (MetS), the circadian timing of sleep (CTS) is also involved in cardiac and metabolic regulation. We examined whether delays and deviations in the sleep midpoint (SM), a measure of CTS, modify the association between visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and MetS in adolescents. Methods: We evaluated 277 adolescents (median 16 years) who had at least 5 nights of at-home actigraphy (ACT), in-lab polysomnography (PSG), dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan, and MetS score data. Sleep midpoint (SM), sleep irregularity (SI), and social jetlag (SJL) were examined as effect modifiers of the association between VAT and MetS, including waist circumference, blood pressure, insulin resistance, triglycerides, and cholesterol. Linear regression models adjusted for demographics, ACT-sleep duration, ACT-sleep variability, and PSG-apnea–hypopnea index. Results: The association between VAT and MetS was significantly stronger (p-values for interactions < 0.001) among adolescents with a schooldays SM later than 4:00 (2.66 [0.30] points increase in MetS score), a SI higher than 1 hour (2.49 [0.30]) or a SJL greater than 1.5 hours (2.15 [0.36]), than in those with an earlier SM (<3:00; 1.76 [0.28]), lower SI (<30 minutes; 0.98 [0.70]), or optimal SJL (<30 minutes; 1.08 [0.45]). Conclusions: A delayed sleep phase, an irregular sleep–wake cycle, and greater social jetlag on schooldays identified adolescents in whom VAT had a stronger association with MetS. Circadian misalignment is a risk factor that enhances the impact of visceral obesity on cardiometabolic morbidity and should be a target of preventative strategies in adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberzsad262
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

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