Family aggregation of sleep characteristics : Results of the Heinz Nixdorf Recall and the Multi-Generation Study

Introduction: Poor sleep is a risk factor for adverse health events. For health prevention, it may be helpful to know whether poor sleep or sleep disorders in individuals are associated with sleep problems in their partners or children.

Methods: In the MultiGeneration Study (MGS, conducted from 2013 to 2016), 1237 partners (aged 27 to 90 years) and 1660 adult children (aged 18 to 66 years) of index persons were recruited. Index persons are participants of the Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study, a population-based cohort study in the Ruhr area (study start 1999-2001, 4841 participants aged 45-75 years). We used two analysis populations: one with 1181 index persons whose partners were in MGS, and one with 1083 index persons with at least one adult child in MGS. Sleep characteristics were assessed using questionnaires (including the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index). The exposure was the presence of a sleep characteristic of the index subject.

Results: Children showed the investigated sleep characteristics more often if these were also present in their parent (e.g., RR (relative risk) = 1.28 (95% CI: 1.06-1.55) for poor sleep quality). In partners, strong associations were observed for rising times and napping, but only weak associations for snoring, poor sleep quality and sleep disorders. Snoring of the bed partner is a risk factor for poor sleep (e.g., RR = 1.67 (0.91-3.07) for difficulties falling asleep).

Conclusion: Aggregation is observed for many sleep characteristics in people living in partnerships as well as in parents and their adult children.


Citation style:
Could not load citation form.


Use and reproduction:
This work may be used under a
CC BY 4.0 LogoCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (CC BY 4.0)