Economic difficulties and subsequent sleep problems: evidence from British and Finnish occupational cohorts.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Social determinants of sleep may prove to be as important as health status. In this study we examined the extent to which persistent and changing economic difficulties are associated with sleep problems in two prospective occupational cohorts. METHODS:We used data from Finnish (baseline 2000-2002; follow-up 2007; n=6328) and British (baseline 1997-1999; follow-up 2003-2004; n=5002) public sector employees. Economic difficulties, sleep problems, and a variety of covariates were assessed at baseline and follow-up. RESULTS:Prevalence of frequent sleep problems at follow-up was 27% and 20% among women and men in the Finnish cohort, and 34% and 27% in the British cohort, respectively. Odds for sleep problems were higher among those with persistent economic difficulties (frequent economic difficulties at baseline and follow-up) compared to those with no difficulties. This association remained after multiple adjustments, including parental and current socioeconomic position, in the Finnish (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.35-2.18) cohort. Increases in economic difficulties were similarly associated with sleep problems in the Finnish and the British cohort. CONCLUSION:Evidence from two occupational cohorts suggests strong associations between economic difficulty and poor sleep. Awareness of this association will help health care professionals identify and prevent sleep problems.
Project description:Socioeconomic differences in smoking over time and across national contexts are poorly understood. We assessed the magnitude of relative and absolute social class differences in smoking in cohorts from Britain, Finland, and Japan over 5-7 years.The British Whitehall II study (n = 4350), Finnish Helsinki Health Study (n = 6328), and Japanese Civil Servants Study (n = 1993) all included employed men and women aged 35-68 at baseline in 1997-2002. Follow-up was in 2003-2007 (mean follow-up 5.1, 6.5, and 3.6 years, respectively). Occupational social class (managers, professionals and clerical employees) was measured at baseline. Current smoking and covariates (age, marital status, body mass index, and self-rated health) were measured at baseline and follow-up. We assessed relative social class differences using the Relative Index of Inequality and absolute differences using the Slope Index of Inequality.Social class differences in smoking were found in Britain and Finland, but not in Japan. Age-adjusted relative differences at baseline ranged from Relative Index of Inequality 3.08 (95% confidence interval 1.99-4.78) among Finnish men to 2.32 (1.24-4.32) among British women, with differences at follow-up greater by 8%-58%. Absolute differences remained stable and varied from Slope Index of Inequality 0.27 (0.15-0.40) among Finnish men to 0.10 (0.03-0.16) among British women. Further adjustment for covariates had modest effects on inequality indices.Large social class differences in smoking persisted among British and Finnish men and women, with widening tendencies in relative differences over time. No differences could be confirmed among Japanese men or women.Changes over time in social class differences in smoking are poorly understood across countries. Our study focused on employees from Britain, Finland and Japan, and found relative and absolute and class differences among British and Finnish men and women. Key covariates had modest effects on the differences. Relative differences tended to widen over the 4- to 7-year follow-up, whereas absolute differences remained stable. In contrast, class differences in smoking among Japanese men or women were not found. Britain and Finland are at the late stage of the smoking epidemic model, whereas Japan may not follow the same model.
Project description:Economic disadvantage is related to a higher risk of adulthood obesity, but few studies have considered whether changes in economic circumstances depend on a person's body mass index (BMI) trajectory. We identified latent BMI trajectories among midlife and ageing Finns and captured individual-level changes in economic circumstances within the BMI trajectories utilizing sequence analysis. We used the Helsinki Health Study cohort data of initially 40-60-year-old Finnish municipal employees, with four survey questionnaire phases (2000-2017). Each survey included identical questions on height and weight, and on economic circumstances incorporating household income and current economic difficulties. Based on computed BMI, we identified participants' (n = 7105; 82% women) BMI trajectories over the follow-up using group-based trajectory modeling. Four BMI trajectories were identified: stable healthy weight (34% of the participants), stable overweight (42%), overweight to class I obesity (20%), and stable class II obesity (5%). Lower household income level and having economic difficulties became more common and persistent when moving from lower- to higher-level BMI trajectories. Differences in household income widened over the follow-up between the trajectory groups, whereas economic difficulties decreased equally in all trajectory groups over time. Our study provides novel information on the dynamic interplay between long-term BMI changes and economic circumstances.
Project description:People's economic difficulties are associated with their health, but consequences of changes in economic difficulties are less understood. We aimed to examine the associations between changes in economic difficulties and subsequent sickness absence while considering socioeconomic circumstances and other covariates.A prospective cohort study.Helsinki, Finland.Municipal employees of the City of Helsinki, Finland (n=3859), who were respondents to the baseline (2000-2002) and follow-up (2007) questionnaire surveys and had register-based follow-up data on sickness absence until the end of 2010.Self-certified short (1-3 days) and medically certified intermediate (4-14 days) and long (15+ days) sickness absence spells were examined using employer's personnel register data.Persistent frequent economic difficulties predicted short (rate ratios (RR) 1.66 95% CI 1.49 to 1.86), intermediate (RR 2.13 95% CI 1.85 to 2.45) and long (RR 2.18 95% CI 1.75 to 2.70) sickness absence spells. Increasing economic difficulties similarly predicted sickness absence spells. The risks were somewhat stronger the longer the absence, and remained although attenuated somewhat after full adjustment. Weak risks were found also for persistent occasional economic difficulties and decreasing economic difficulties, and they attenuated further after full adjustments.Changes in economic difficulties predict subsequent sickness absence even after considering income, baseline health and other covariates. Thus economic difficulties should be considered when addressing causes of sickness absence.
Project description:This prospective cohort study examined previously underexplored relations between psychological/social work factors and troubled sleep in order to provide practical information about specific, modifiable factors at work.A comprehensive evaluation of a range of psychological/social work factors was obtained by several designs; i.e., cross-sectional analyses at baseline and follow-up, prospective analyses with baseline predictors (T1), prospective analyses with average exposure across waves as predictor ([T1 + T2] / 2), and prospective analyses with change in exposure from baseline to follow-up as predictor. Participants consisted of a sample of Norwegian employees from a broad spectrum of occupations, who completed a questionnaire at two points in time, approximately two years apart. Cross-sectional analyses at T1 comprised 7,459 participants, cross-sectional analyses at T2 included 6,688 participants. Prospective analyses comprised a sample 5,070 of participants who responded at both T1 and T2. Univariable and multivariable ordinal logistic regressions were performed.Thirteen psychological/social work factors and two aspects of troubled sleep, namely difficulties initiating sleep and disturbed sleep, were studied. Ordinal logistic regressions revealed statistically significant associations for all psychological and social work factors in at least one of the analyses. Psychological and social work factors predicted sleep problems in the short term as well as the long term.All work factors investigated showed statistically significant associations with both sleep items, however quantitative job demands, decision control, role conflict, and support from superior were the most robust predictors and may therefore be suitable targets of interventions aimed at improving employee sleep.
Project description:Sleep problems have a negative impact on a range of outcomes and are very common in adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). We aimed to (a) establish whether adolescents with CFS have more self-reported sleep problems than illness controls as well as healthy controls, (b) investigate changes in sleep problems and (c) explore the extent to which sleep problems at baseline predict fatigue and functioning at follow-up in adolescents with CFS. The Insomnia Scale was completed by 121 adolescents with CFS, 78 healthy adolescents and 27 adolescents with asthma. Eighty (66%) treatment-naïve adolescents with CFS completed questionnaires approximately 3?months later. Adolescents with CFS reported increased sleep problems compared to healthy controls and adolescents with asthma. In CFS, there was no significant change in sleep problems without treatment over a 3-month follow-up. Sleep problems at baseline predicted a significant proportion of the variance in sleep problems at follow-up. Sleep problems should be targeted in treatment. Regulating the 'body clock' via the regulation of sleep could influence outcomes not assessed in this study such as school attainment.
Project description:<b>Background: </b>Effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure (RF-EMF) from mobile phone use on sleep quality has mainly been investigated in cross-sectional studies. The few previous prospective cohort studies found no or inconsistent associations, but had limited statistical power and short follow-up. In this large prospective cohort study, our aim was to estimate the effect of RF-EMF from mobile phone use on different sleep outcomes.<br><br><b>Materials and methods: </b>The study included Swedish (n = 21,049) and Finnish (n = 3120) participants enrolled in the Cohort Study of Mobile Phone Use and Health (COSMOS) with information about operator-recorded mobile phone use at baseline and sleep outcomes both at baseline and at the 4-year follow-up. Sleep disturbance, sleep adequacy, daytime somnolence, sleep latency, and insomnia were assessed using the Medical Outcome Study (MOS) sleep questionnaire.<br><br><b>Results: </b>Operator-recorded mobile phone use at baseline was not associated with most of the sleep outcomes. For insomnia, an odds ratio (OR) of 1.24, 95% CI 1.03-1.51 was observed in the highest decile of mobile phone call-time (>258 min/week). With weights assigned to call-time to account for the lower RF-EMF exposure from Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service (UMTS, 3G) than from Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM, 2G) the OR was 1.09 (95% CI 0.89-1.33) in the highest call-time decile.<br><br><b>Conclusion: </b>Insomnia was slightly more common among mobile phone users in the highest call-time category, but adjustment for the considerably lower RF-EMF exposure from the UMTS than the GSM network suggests that this association is likely due to other factors associated with mobile phone use than RF-EMF. No association was observed for other sleep outcomes. In conclusion, findings from this study do not support the hypothesis that RF-EMF from mobile phone use has long-term effects on sleep quality.
Project description:Previous studies with limited follow-up times have suggested that sleep-related traits are associated with an increased risk of incident dementia or cognitive decline. We investigated the association between midlife sleep characteristics and late life cognitive function.A follow-up study with a median follow-up time of 22.5 (range 15.8-25.7) years assessing the association between midlife sleep characteristics and later cognitive function.Questionnaire data from 1981 were used in the assessment of sleep characteristics, use of hypnotics, and covariates at baseline. Between 1999 and 2007, participants were assigned a linear cognitive score with a maximum score of 51 based on a telephone interview (mean score 38.3, SD 6.1). Linear regression analyses were controlled for age, sex, education, ApoE genotype, and follow-up time.2,336 members of the Finnish Twin cohort who were at least 65 years of age.N/A.Baseline short (< 7 h/day) and long (> 8 h/day) sleepers had lower cognitive scores than participants sleeping 7-8 h/ day (? = -0.84, P = 0.014 and ? = -1.66, P < 0.001, respectively). As compared to good sleep quality, poor or rather poor sleep quality was associated with a lower cognitive score (? = -1.00, P = 0.011). Also, the use of hypnotics ? 60 days per year was associated with poorer cognitive function (? = -1.92, P = 0.002).This is the first study indicating that midlife sleep length, sleep quality, and use of hypnotics are associated with late life cognitive function. Further confirmation is needed, but sleep-related characteristics may emerge as new risk factors for cognitive impairment.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Pain is a common symptom, often associated with neurological and musculoskeletal conditions, and experienced especially by females and by older people, and with increasing trends in general populations. Different risk factors for pain have been identified, but generally from studies with limited samples and a limited number of candidate predictors. The aim of this study is to evaluate the predictors of pain from a large set of variables and respondents. METHODS:We used part of the harmonized dataset of ATHLOS project, selecting studies and waves with a longitudinal course, and in which pain was absent at baseline and with no missing at follow-up. Predictors were selected based on missing distribution and univariable association with pain, and were selected from the following domains: Socio-demographic and economic characteristics, Lifestyle and health behaviours, Health status and functional limitations, Diseases, Physical measures, Cognition, personality and other psychological measures, and Social environment. Hierarchical logistic regression models were then applied to identify significant predictors. RESULTS:A total of 13,545 subjects were included of whom 5348 (39.5%) developed pain between baseline and the average 5.2?years' follow-up. Baseline risk factors for pain were female gender (OR 1.34), engaging in vigorous exercise (OR 2.51), being obese (OR 1.36) and suffering from the loss of a close person (OR 1.88) whereas follow-up risk factors were low energy levels/fatigue (1.93), difficulties with walking (1.69), self-rated health referred as poor (OR 2.20) or average to moderate (OR 1.57) and presence of sleep problems (1.80). CONCLUSIONS:Our results showed that 39.5% of respondents developed pain over a five-year follow-up period, that there are proximal and distal risk factors for pain, and that part of them are directly modifiable. Actions aimed at improving sleep, reducing weight among obese people and treating fatigue would positively impact on pain onset, and avoiding vigorous exercise should be advised to people aged 60 or over, in particular if female or obese.
Project description:Importance:Although multiple cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have established that sleep problems and behavioral difficulties are associated in children, the directionality of this association and whether sleep problems are differentially associated with different types of childhood behavioral difficulties are unclear. Understanding these associations will inform the focus and timing of interventions. Objective:To determine whether longitudinal and reciprocal associations exist between child sleep problems and externalizing, internalizing, or both behavioral difficulties. Design, Setting, and Participants:Prospective cohort study using nationally representative data from the first 5 waves (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012) of the kindergarten cohort (4983 children aged 4-5 years in 2004) collected for the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Associations were evaluated using cross-lagged structural equation model analyses performed from May 25, 2016, to September 20, 2017. Main Outcomes and Measures:Child sleep problems and internalizing and externalizing behavioral difficulties. Sleep problems were defined using parent-reported child sleep problem severity and specific difficulties (ie, difficulty getting to sleep at night, not happy sleeping alone, waking during the night, and restless sleep) on 4 or more nights of the week. Child behavioral difficulties were defined using the parent-reported Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire for externalizing difficulties (conduct problems and hyperactivity/inattention subscales) and internalizing difficulties (emotional problems subscale). Results:The 4983 children enrolled in 2004 had a mean (SD) age of 4.7 (0.2) years and comprised a similar percentage of boys (2536 [50.9%]) and girls. In 2012, 3956 children (79.4%) aged 12 to 13 years were retained. Significant bidirectional associations were detected between sleep problems and externalizing difficulties during the elementary school transition period, with greater sleep problems associated with later externalizing behavior and vice versa (cross-lagged path coefficient, 0.04 [95% CI, 0.01-0.08] to 0.09 [95% CI, 0.06-0.13]). Although sleep was a significant driver of later internalizing difficulties (coefficient, 0.10 [95% CI, 0.07-0.14] to 0.16 [95% CI, 0.12-0.19]), the reverse association was not significant. In the final model that included all 3 constructs, the associations were attenuated but remained significant over time. Conclusions and Relevance:These results suggest that future studies should investigate whether implementing sleep problem intervention decreases the occurrence of both externalizing and internalizing difficulties. Interventions targeting externalizing, but not internalizing, difficulties may benefit childhood sleep.
Project description:The Barcelona Brain Health Initiative is a longitudinal cohort study that began in 2017 and aims to understand and characterize the determinants of brain health maintenance in middle aged adults. A cohort of 4686 individuals between the ages of 40 and 65 years free from any neurological or psychiatric diseases was established, and we collected extensive demographic, socio-economic information along with measures of self-perceived health and lifestyles (general health, physical activity, cognitive activity, socialization, sleep, nutrition and vital plan). Here we report on the baseline characteristics of the participants, and the results of the one-year follow-up evaluation. Participants were mainly women, highly educated, and with better lifestyles compared with the general population. After one year 60% of participants completed the one-year follow-up, and these were older, with higher educational level and with better lifestyles in some domains. In the absence of any specific interventions to-date, these participants showed small improvements in physical activity and sleep, but decreased adherence to a Mediterranean diet. These changes were negatively associated with baseline scores, and poorer habits at baseline were predictive of an improvement in lifestyle domains. Of the 2353 participants who completed the one-year follow-up, 73 had been diagnosed with new neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases. Changes in vital plan at follow-up, as well as gender, sleep quality and sense of coherence at baseline were shown to be significant risk factors for the onset of these diagnoses. Notably, gender risk factor decreased in importance as we adjusted by sleep habits, suggesting its potential mediator effects. These findings stress the importance of healthy lifestyles in sustaining brain health, and illustrate the individual benefit that can be derived from participation in longitudinal observational studies. Modifiable lifestyles, specifically quality of sleep, may partially mediate the effect of other risk factors in the development of some neuropsychiatric conditions.