This site is intended for a global audience
Contact Us

Leader Perspectives

Taking Steps Toward Heart Health in Narcolepsy

Kim Sablich

This year’s World Heart Day is centered around the theme of ‘Cardiovascular Health for Everyone,’ which raises awareness on the prevention, treatment and management of cardiovascular disease worldwide. At Jazz, we know that people living with sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy, face risks in developing some of these comorbidities, and we are committed to exploring solutions that can have a positive impact on their overall health. Most notably, narcolepsy is a chronic neurological condition that can have a far-reaching impact on an individual’s life, and the challenges they face are not only limited to sleep. Research has shown a higher prevalence of certain comorbid medical conditions among people with narcolepsy, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.1,2,3,4

When navigating a new diagnosis, a person might not understand what a comorbidity means – which is defined as having two or more diseases at the same time5 – and the risks that they might face as a result. It is important for people within the narcolepsy community, whether they are a patient, healthcare provider or advocacy partner, to understand that cardiovascular disease is an often-overlooked comorbidity associated with narcolepsy. High levels of sodium can play a role in affecting the heart health of narcolepsy patients, so patients should understand common sources of sodium consumption such as food, beverages, and some medications.6,7

Focusing on the holistic health of the patient has always been a priority at Jazz. In addition to our commitment to continue to develop innovative therapies for these patients, we’re also determined to raise awareness of the importance of heart health for people living with narcolepsy. That is why we are committed to ensuring people living with narcolepsy understand how to develop healthy sleep habits. We know that this can be difficult, based on the nature of the condition, which can include stress, mood disruptors and pain. The best thing for sleepiness is sleep, and with narcolepsy patients having a better understanding of the circadian sleep cycle, they can develop a sleep routine that could help with reducing stress levels before bed and comorbid risks.8,9 If we can protect a patient’s heart through education and conversation, it goes a long way in preventing further damage to their overall health.

World Heart Day provides us with the opportunity to raise awareness of heart health and the burden faced by people around the world, and in particular, those living with narcolepsy. I am proud of our commitment to this community where we help them navigate the complexities of their condition and allow them to experience healthier, fuller lives. At Jazz, we understand the significant, life-altering implications of neurological conditions and we will continue to strive to invest in new medicines that offer patients new and better options that have a positive impact on their overall health.


  1. Black J, Reaven NL, Funk SE, et al. Medical comorbidity in narcolepsy: findings from the Burden of Narcolepsy Disease (BOND) study. Sleep Med. 2017;33:13-18.
  2. Ohayon MM. Narcolepsy is complicated by high medical and psychiatric comorbidities: a comparison with the general population. Sleep Med. 2013;14(6):488-492.
  3. Cohen A, Mandrekar J, St Louis EK, Silber MH, Kotagal S. Comorbidities in a community sample of narcolepsy. Sleep Med. 2018;43:14-18.
  4. Jennum P, Ibsen R, Knudsen S, Kjellberg J. Comorbidity and mortality of narcolepsy: a controlled retro- and prospective national study. Sleep. 2013;36(6):835-840.
  5. Definition of comorbidity – NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms. National Cancer Institute. Accessed September 2022.
  6. Perrin G, Korb-Savoldelli V, Karras A, Danchin N, Durieux P, Sabatier B. Cardiovascular risk associated with high sodium-containing drugs: A systematic review. PLoS One. 2017;12(7):e0180634. Published 2017 Jul 6.
  7. Quader ZS, Zhao L, Gillespie C, et al. Sodium intake among persons aged ≥2 years — United States, 2013–2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017;66:324–238.
  8. Irish LA, Kline CE, Gunn HE, Buysse DJ, Hall MH. The role of sleep hygiene in promoting public health: a review of empirical evidence. Sleep Med Rev. 2015;22:23-36.
  9. Choi DW, Chun SY, Lee SA, Han KT, Park EC. Association between sleep duration and perceived stress: salaried worker in circumstances of high workload. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018;15(4):796.