Habitual sleep as a contributor to racial differences in cardiometabolic risk [Social Sciences]
Insufficient and disrupted sleep is linked with cardiovascular and metabolic dysregulation and morbidity. The current study examines the degree to which differences in sleep between black/African American (AA) and white/European American (EA) adults explain racial differences in cardiometabolic (CMB) disease risk. Total sleep time and sleep efficiency (percent of time in bed asleep) were assessed via seven nights of wrist actigraphy among 426 participants in the Midlife in the United States Study (31% AA; 69% EA; 61% female; mean age = 56.8 y). CMB risk was indexed as a composite of seven biomarkers [blood pressure, waist circumference, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), insulin resistance, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol (HDL-C), and C-reactive protein]. Covariates included sociodemographic characteristics and relevant health behaviors. Results indicated that AAs relative to EAs obtained less sleep (341 vs. 381 min) and had lower sleep efficiency (72.3 vs. 82.2%) (P values < 0.001). Further, 41% and 58% of the racial difference in CMB risk was explained by sleep time and sleep efficiency, respectively. In models stratified by sex, race was indirectly associated with CMB risk via sleep time and efficiency only among females (explaining 33% and 65% of the race difference, respectively). Indirect effects were robust to alternative model specifications that excluded participants with diabetes or heart disease. Consideration of sleep determinants and sleep health is therefore needed in efforts to reduce racial differences in CMB disease.
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