Insomnia is a more pronounced problem than expected among Hispanics over age 50, according to results of a study by Christopher N. Kaufmann, PhD, and his coauthors.

Dr. Kaufmann and his colleagues studied 22,252 participants of white, Non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, or other race/ethnicity. Participant data came from a nationally representative survey from 2002 to 2010, in which patients rated the severity of four insomnia symptoms. All participants were adults older than 50 years.

Insomnia severity scores increased 0.19 points over time after the investigators controlled for sex, race/ethnicity, education, and baseline age (95% CI, 0.14-0.24; t = 7.52; design df = 56; P less than .001). After adjustment for accumulated health conditions and body mass index, this trend decreased, Dr. Kaufmann and his colleagues added. However, the increasing trajectory of insomnia severity was “significantly more pronounced” among Hispanics, compared with non-Hispanic whites, after adjustment for accumulated health conditions, body mass index, and number of depressive symptoms, the investigators said in the report.

Although health conditions can result in greater insomnia severity with age, “further research is needed to determine the reasons for a different insomnia trajectory among Hispanics,” the authors concluded.

Read the full article in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry .


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