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September 9, 2021

Few longitudinal studies have explored the association between apolipoprotein E gene (APOE) status, sleep disturbances, and incident dementia among middle-aged participants.

Cox regression analyses explored the association of sleep duration, insomnia, and daytime napping with incident all-cause dementia and their interaction with APOE genetic risk among 397,777 middle-aged adults.

During a median of 10.8 years follow-up, sleeping more or fewer than 7 hours was associated with a higher dementia risk (hazard ratio [HR] for 5 vs 7 hours: 1.35, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.11–1.64; HR for 9 vs 7 hours: 1.59; 95% CI 1.37–1.85) as was daytime napping (HR for often/all of the time vs never/rarely: 1.67; 95% CI 1.37–2.03). Stratified analyses revealed that the effects of sleep disturbances were similar across all APOE genetic risk groups.

Short and long sleep duration and daytime napping in middle-aged individuals are associated with the development of dementia in later life. Sleep duration and quality are important for everyone regardless of their genetic risk by APOE genotype.

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Author: Eleni Palpatzis,
Nick Bass,
Rebecca Jones,
Naaheed Mukadam