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Do Racial-ethnic Differences Influence Sleep Duration? Data from the ELSA-Brasil study


The amount of sleep is traditionally influenced by age, comorbidities, psychosocial factors, and habits. Recent evidence suggests that racial-ethnic differences may play a role, but it is not clear whether the impact of several confounders may explain these associations.


To evaluate differences on sleep duration according to the racial-ethnic differences and to explore potential related factors in a multiethnic cohort.


This is a large cross-sectional investigation from the ELSA-Brasil study (São Paulo site). Each participant was submitted to a standard interview and physical examination. The sleep duration was measured by using an Actiwatch model 2 (Philips Respironics) over seven consecutive days and nights on the nondominant wrist during a typical week. We evaluated the sleep duration according to self-reported race/ethnic groups (White, Mixed, Black, Asian, and Indigenous) using age, sex, body mass index, working status (active/retired), working hours, family income, education, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), diabetes mellitus, depression, insomnia, and physical activity as potential confounders.


Over two-years recruitment, 2,561 participants were invited to perform the sleep assessment. A total of 1,801 participants were included in the final analysis (age 49±8 years; 42.8% men; 30% with OSA; 61.7% White; 20.5% Mixed; 11.9% Black; 5.1% Asian; 0.8% Indigenous). The average total sleep time was 393.3±59.4 minutes. The sleep duration stratification according to the racial-ethnic groups revealed that Blacks had the shortest sleep duration (378.7±60.1 minutes), followed by Asians (380.1±57.9 minutes), Indigenous (387.0±35.9 minutes), Mixed (392.1±63.8 minutes), and Whites (400.3±56.4 minutes); p<0.001 for the comparison between Blacks versus Whites and Asians versus Whites. After adjustments for several abovementioned confounders, Blacks (β -0.116; CI-29.588 -11.958; p<0.001) and Asians (β -0.091; CI-36.667 -11.377; p<0.001) were independently associated with lower sleep duration.


In a large Cohort of multiethnic adults, Blacks and Asians presented lower sleep duration even after adjusting for multiple confounders.


Sleep, Sleep duration, Racial-ethnic, Racial Differences


Área Clínica


Hospital Universitário da Universidade de São Paulo - São Paulo - Brasil, Universidade de São Paulo - São Paulo - Brasil


Soraya Giatti, Ronaldo Batista Santos, Aline Nogueira Aielo, Bárbara K Parise, Lorenna Franco Cunha, Alexandre Geronto, Silvana P Souza, Isabela Martins Benseñor, Paulo Andrade Lotufo, Luciano Ferreira Drager