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Global 'sleeplessness epidemic' affects an estimated 150 million in developing world
Date:8/1/2012

Levels of sleep problems in the developing world are approaching those seen in developed nations, linked to an increase in problems like depression and anxiety.

According to the first ever pan-African and Asian analysis of sleep problems, led by Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick, an estimated 150 million adults are suffering from sleep-related problems across the developing world.

The results are published in a study in the journal Sleep.

Warwick Medical School researchers have found a rate of 16.6 per cent of the population reporting insomnia and other severe sleep disturbances in the countries surveyed close to the 20 per cent found in the general adult population in the West, according to nationwide surveys in Canada and the US.

The researchers, which also included academics from the INDEPTH Network in Ghana and the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, looked at the sleep quality of 24,434 women and 19,501 men aged 50 years and over in eight locations in rural populations in Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia, and an urban area in Kenya.

They examined potential links between sleep problems and social demographics, quality of life, physical health and psychiatric conditions.

The strongest link was found between psychiatric conditions like depression and anxiety and sleep problems, mirroring trends seen in the developed world.

There was striking variation across the countries surveyed Bangladesh, South Africa and Vietnam had extremely high levels of sleep problems, in some cases surpassing Western sleeplessness rates.

However India and Indonesia reported relatively low levels of severe sleep problems.

The research also found a higher prevalence of sleep problems in women and older age groups, consistent with patterns found in higher income countries.

Dr Saverio Stranges was the leading author
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Contact: Anna Blackaby
a.blackaby@warwick.ac.uk
44-024-765-75910
University of Warwick
Source:Eurekalert  

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