Insomnia Found to Be Common but Mild in Older Adults

Insomnia significantly associated only with depressive symptoms, restless leg syndrome

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TUESDAY, May 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Insomnia is common in older community-dwelling adults, but usually mild, according to a study published online May 21 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Brienne Miner, M.D., from Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues assessed insomnia in 379 older community-dwelling adults (mean age, 84.3 years; 67.8 percent female).

The researchers found that 43 percent of participants reported insomnia, although the average Insomnia Severity Index score was mild. In multivariable regression models, only depressive symptoms (adjusted odds ratio, 8.34) and restless legs syndrome (adjusted odds ratio, 2.49) were significantly associated with insomnia.

"The discordance of high prevalence but mild severity of insomnia in the oldest adults highlights the need for diagnostic confirmation with objective measures of sleep disturbances, whereas the strong associations with depressive symptoms and restless legs syndrome inform priorities in managing insomnia," the authors write.

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