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Assessment of sleep and circadian rhythm disorders in the very old: the Newcastle 85+ Cohort Study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kirstie Anderson, Professor Mike Catt, Dr Joanna Collerton, Dr Karen Davies, Professor Thomas von Zglinicki, Emeritus Professor Thomas Kirkwood, Emerita Professor Carol Jagger


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Objectives: to examine the association between subjective and objective measures of sleep and wake and other health parameters in a cohort of the very old.Design: a population-based cohort study.Setting: primary care, North East England.Participants: four hundred and twenty-one men and women, aged 87-89, recruited to the Newcastle 85+ Study cohort.Methods: sleep questionnaires were administered and sleep-wake patterns were assessed over 5-7 days with a novel wrist triaxial accelerometer. Associations between sleep measures and various health parameters, including mortality at 24 months, were examined.Results: only 16% of participants perceived their sleep as severely disturbed as assessed with questionnaire responses. Wrist accelerometry showed marked variation between normal and abnormal sleep-wake cycles that did not correlate with the participants' perception of sleep. Impaired sleep-wake cycles were significantly associated with cognitive impairment, disability, depression, increased falls, body mass index and arthritis but not with any other specific disease markers and with decreased survival.Conclusions: commonly used sleep questionnaires do not differentiate well between those with objectively determined disturbance of sleep-wake cycles and those with normal cycles. Abnormal sleep-wake patterns are associated with institutionalisation, cognitive impairment, disability, depression and arthritis but not with other diseases; there is also an association with reduced survival.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Anderson KN, Catt M, Collerton J, Davies K, von Zglinicki T, Kirkwood TBL, Jagger C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Age and Ageing

Year: 2014

Volume: 43

Issue: 1

Pages: 57-63

Print publication date: 11/10/2013

ISSN (print): 0002-0729

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2834

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/ageing/aft153


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Funder referenceFunder name
NHS North of Tyne (Newcastle Primary Care Trust)
UK Medical Research Council
BH091228UK NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Age and Age related disease award
G0500997Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
R124/0509Dunhill Medical Trust