For years, Jazz Pharmaceuticals and the American Heart Association (AHA) have partnered on health education, focusing specifically on raising awareness about sleep disorders. 

Now, Jazz said it’s expanding that partnership to include an initiative that will educate patients and healthcare providers (HCPs) on the link between sleep disorders and heart health.

The goal is to reach people who may be struggling with sleep disorders and help them figure out when they need to see a provider. Additionally, the initiative is meant to target HCPs as well as improve their understanding of the link between cardiovascular and brain health and sleep issues.

The announcement comes as Jazz is also hoping to boost awareness of its narcolepsy drug Xywav, which received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in July 2020. In its development and marketing of Xywav, Jazz has emphasized the drug’s lower levels of sodium – which can increase heart disease risk – as one of its benefits.

Jazz has also conducted some of its own research on the link between narcolepsy and cardiovascular risk, which makes its partnership with the AHA a natural fit.

“Based on our deep expertise in sleep disorders, we are keenly aware of their devastating impact on those diagnosed with these conditions,” Kelvin Tan, senior VP and chief medical officer at Jazz, said in a statement. “This is why we are committed to pioneering innovative treatment options for sleep disorders with the possibility to transform the lives of patients and their families.”

Sleep has become an increasingly important area of research as more scientists have linked sleep to overall health – from mental health to heart health. Some 50 to 70 million people in the U.S. are living with a chronic sleep disorder, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The partnership with the AHA will aim to foster strategies to help reduce the cardiovascular risks linked to sleep disorders. It will also launch a science advisory panel, a patient video series and a resource toolkit as part of the campaign.

“Research continues to demonstrate that people with sleep disorders like narcolepsy may face even greater risk for heart disease and stroke than the general population,” Mitch Elkind, chief clinical science officer at the AHA, said in a statement. “As the scientific community continues to explore this important topic, it’s critical that people with sleep disorders and those who care for them recognize the connection and optimally manage the cardiovascular complications.”

Jazz originally joined forces with the AHA in 2020, when the pharma company announced it would be supporting and funding the organization’s sleep health educational content.

Jazz has partnered with sleep organizations in the past, including the Hypersomnia Foundation, to launch sleep disorder awareness campaigns. 

In that effort, the company helped launch I Have IH, a campaign that raised awareness about idiopathic hypersomnia, which causes intense sleepiness during the day.