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The association between sleep disturbances and reduced quality of life varies by race
Date:4/14/2010

-home polysomnography. Snoring and insomnia defined as trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking too early were assessed using the Sleep Habits Questionnaire. The Epworth Sleepiness Scale was used to evaluate daytime sleepiness.

Health-related quality of life was assessed with the physical and mental composite scales of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short form survey. According to the authors, low scores on the physical scale suggest limitations in self-care and physical activities, severe bodily pain and frequent tiredness. A low score on the mental scale indicates frequent psychological distress, as well as social and role disability due to emotional problems.

The study found that sleep disturbances were common, with 46 percent of people having at least mild sleep apnea, 34 percent reporting frequent snoring, 30 percent having insomnia symptoms and 25 percent reporting excessive daytime sleepiness. Frequent snoring was significantly more common among Hispanics (41 percent), and excessive daytime sleepiness was significantly more common among African-Americans (32 percent). There were no statistically significant differences in the distribution of obstructive sleep apnea or insomnia symptoms by race.

According to Baldwin, the study could help reduce health disparities and improve outcomes by advancing "tailored care" in sleep medicine.

"These findings support the need for sleep clinicians to use culturally-responsive sleep education, assessment and intervention approaches, as well as depression, anxiety and other relevant mood and socioeconomic-status measures," she said.

The authors cautioned that the correlational nature of the study did not allow for an analysis of causality. Baldwin added that the causes of differences in health-related quality of life can be complex and may include such factors as lifestyle and activity patterns, diet, sleep architecture and access to health care.

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Contact: Kathleen McCann
kmccann@aasmnet.org
708-492-0930
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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