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Sleep disturbances in elderly subjects: an epidemiological survey in an Italian district


Enrica Bonanni, Department of Neurosciences, Neurological Clinic, University of Pisa, Via Roma 67, 56126 Pisa, Italy
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Bonanni E, Tognoni G, Maestri M, Salvati N, Fabbrini M, Borghetti D, Di Coscio E, Choub A, Sposito R, Pagni C, Iudice A, Murri L. Sleep disturbances in elderly subjects: an epidemiological survey in an Italian district.
Acta Neurol Scand: 2010: 122: 389–397.
© 2010 The Authors Journal compilation © 2010 Blackwell Munksgaard.

Objectives –  Disturbed sleep is common in elderly people and has been related to comorbidities. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of sleep problems and their relationship with chronic disease in an elderly population.

Materials and methods –  The whole population of subjects aged more than 65 years, in the municipality of Vecchiano, Pisa was considered as eligible and underwent a clinical interview and a questionnaire about insomnia, sleepiness, snoring and sleep apnea. A model of logistic regression was applied to the data.

Results –  The participation rate was 60.3% (1427 subjects). Insomnia was observed in 44.2% of our population, while sleepiness in 31.3%, snoring in 47.2% and sleep apnea in 9.0%. The most common diseases associated with sleep symptoms were depression, cognitive decline and diabetes.

Conclusions –  Our results confirm that sleep problems are very common in elderly subjects and closely related to medical and psychiatric illnesses.

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