LONDON, England / Medical News Today / Sleep / May 4, 2010
A study in the May 1 issue of the journal SLEEP is the first to examine sleep issues in a large sample of exceptionally old adults, including nearly 2,800 people who were 100 years of age and older.
Illustration courtesy: 050news.ithttp://www.050news.it/
Health problems were associated with worse sleep quality, as participants with self-rated poor health were 46 percent less likely to report sleeping well. The odds of reporting good sleep quality also were lower in people who often felt anxious, had at least one chronic disease or struggled with everyday tasks.
"Age and health conditions are the two most important factors associated with self-reported sleep quality and duration," said principal investigator and lead author of the study Danan Gu, PhD, faculty of the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University in Oregon.
The study involved an analysis of data from the 2005 wave of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey. The sample was composed of 15,638 adults aged 65 and older, including 3,927 who were between 90 and 99 years of age, and 2,794 who were 100 years of age and older. Participants were spread across 22 provinces in mainland China.
According to the authors, China's population of more than 1.3 billion people includes the largest elderly population in the world, making the country a valuable resource for studying healthy longevity. The World Bank estimates that China has nearly 40.5 million people who are 75 years of age and older.
"The majority of healthy elders could experience satisfactory sleep quality," said Gu. "Sleep problems at oldest-old ages likely arise from a variety of physiological and psychosocial factors rather than aging per se."
The authors emphasized that the cross-sectional nature of the study did not allow for an exploration of causality. However, they suspect that there is a bidirectional relationship between sleep quality and healthy longevity. At the end of 2010 data should be available from the 2008-2009 wave of the survey, which will allow for comparisons with the 2005 data. [rc]
The Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) has received support from the National Institute on Aging (principal investigator: Zeng Yi).
Source: Kathleen McCann
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
* Illustrations are courtesy of The Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey
* SLEEP is the journal of Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC, located in Westchester, Illinois.
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