Association between indigenous status and Body Mass Index (BMI) in Australian adults: Does sleep duration affect the relationship?

Deacon-Crouch, Melissa, Skinner, Isabelle, Tucci, Joseph, Begg, Steve, Wallace, Ruth, and Skinner, Timothy (2022) Association between indigenous status and Body Mass Index (BMI) in Australian adults: Does sleep duration affect the relationship? PLoS ONE, 17 (2). e0263233.

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Background: Overweight/obesity is a well-defined risk factor for a variety of chronic cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Sleep duration has been associated with overweight/obesity and other cardio metabolic and neurocognitive problems. Notably, overweight/obesity and many of the associated comorbidities are prevalent in Indigenous Australians. Generally, sleep duration has been associated with BMI for Australian adults but information about Australian Indigenous adults’ sleep is scant. A recent report established that sleep is a weak predictor of obesity for Indigenous Australian adults.

Aim: To determine whether sleep remains a predictor of obesity when physical activity, diet and smoking status are accounted for; and to determine whether sleep duration plays a mediating role in the relationship between Indigenous status and BMI.

Methods: Statistical analyses of 5,886 Australian adults: 5236 non-Indigenous and 650 Indigenous people aged over 18 years who participated in the Australian Health Survey 2011–2013. Demographic and lifestyle characteristics were described by χ2 and t-tests. ANOVA was used to determine the variables that significantly predicted BMI and sleep duration. Stepwise regression analyses were performed to determine the strongest significant predictors of BMI. Sleep duration was self-reported; BMI was calculated from measurement.

Results: The study revealed two main findings: (i) short sleep duration was an independent predictor of obesity (adjusted-R2 = 0.056, p <0.0001); and (ii) controlling for sleep duration and other possible confounders, Indigenous status was a significant predictor of BMI overweight/obesity. Sleep duration played a weak, partial mediator role in this relationship. Increased BMI was associated with lower socioeconomic status and level of disadvantage of household locality for non-remote Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Conclusion: Indigenous status strongly predicted increased BMI. The effect was not mediated by the socioeconomic indicators but was partially mediated by sleep duration.

Item ID: 75337
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Copyright Information: © 2022 Deacon-Crouch et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2022 01:00
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420602 Health equity @ 50%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4504 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing > 450417 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander public health and wellbeing @ 50%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200411 Overweight and obesity @ 50%
21 INDIGENOUS > 2103 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health > 210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander determinants of health @ 50%
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