Sleep problems in adolescence and overweight/obesity in young adults: is there a causal link?

Fatima, Yaqoot, Doi, Suhail A.R., and Al Mamun, Abdulla (2018) Sleep problems in adolescence and overweight/obesity in young adults: is there a causal link? Sleep Health, 4 (2). pp. 154-159.

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Objective: This study aims to explore if there is a causal association between adolescence sleep problems and overweight/obesity (Ow/Ob) in young adults.

Methods: Youth self-reports were used to explore if adolescence (mean age 13.90 years, SD ±0.32) sleep problems lead to general Ow/Ob, computed from body mass index (n = 1075), or abdominal Ow/Ob, computed from waist circumference and waist to height ratio (n = 1179), in young adults (mean age 20.65 years, SD±0.82). Directed acyclic graphs were used to identify potential confounders, modified Poisson regression with a robust error variance was used to model the associations, and inverse probability weights were used to account for loss to follow-up.

Results: At adolescence, 27.37% of the subjects reported having frequent sleep problems, and about a fifth of these subjects (22.65%) developed general Ow/Ob at young adulthood.

Unadjusted regression analysis indicates a link between adolescent sleep problems and general Ow/Ob in young adults (incidence rate ratio [IRR]: 1.34, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.08-2.03), and this link was robust to adjustment for potential confounders (IRR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.07-2.02). However, no such association was seen for adolescence sleep problems, and abdominal Ow/Ob computed from waist circumference (IRR: 1.30, 95% CI: 0.91-1.87) and waist to height ratio (IRR: 1.27, 95% CI: 0.86-1.88).

Conclusion: Although there is evidence for a causal association between sleep problems and general Ow/Ob, the link between sleep problems and abdominal Ow/Ob needs more research to produce conclusive results. Nonetheless, behavioral interventions encouraging healthy sleep practice in young subjects are likely to influence future Ow/Ob outcome.

Item ID: 52658
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2352-7226
Keywords: causal link, sleep problems, overweight, obesity, adolescence
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC).
Projects and Grants: NHMRC 210298, NHMRC Career Development Awards ID 519756
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2018 04:39
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420210 Social epidemiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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