Racial and Ethnic Trajectories of Sleep Disturbances: Variations by Age and Cohort.

TitleRacial and Ethnic Trajectories of Sleep Disturbances: Variations by Age and Cohort.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsChen, J-H
JournalJ Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci
Date Published2023 Jan 26
ISSN Number1758-535X
KeywordsAging effects, Cohort Effects, Longitudinal analysis, Racial and ethnic disparities, Sleep trajectories

BACKGROUND: The racial and ethnic differences in trajectories of sleep disturbances in later life is crucial for addressing health disparities, but not well understood. This study examines (1) how trajectories of sleep disturbances vary by race and ethnicity and birth cohort and (2) whether social and health risk factors explain such variations.

METHODS: The study uses longitudinal data from the 2002-2018 Health and Retirement Study (N=21,963) and the multilevel growth curve model to assess trajectories of sleep disturbances and their variations across six cohorts of White, Black, and Hispanic older adults. Sleep disturbances are measured using a modified Jenkins Sleep Scale.

RESULTS: Without controls, sleep disturbances increased with aging for all racial and ethnic groups, but more rapidly among minorities, particularly younger cohorts of Hispanic older adults. When controlling for social and health risks, sleep disturbances did not change with aging for Whites and Blacks and increased for younger cohorts of Hispanics. Cohort effects were observed among White older adults, with higher sleep disturbances in younger cohorts. Importantly, the racial and ethnic disparities in age and cohort effects were not fully explained by social and health risks. Of the symptoms, the most salient racial and ethnic disparities were found in "waking up at night" and "not feeling rested."

CONCLUSIONS: Findings reveal several differences by race and ethnicity and birth cohort in trajectories of sleep disturbances. Efforts should be made to improve sleep health for older adults as they age, especially for younger cohorts of Blacks and Hispanics.

Citation Key13118
PubMed ID36702761