Association of sleep duration in middle and old age with incidence of dementia


Nature Communications


Séverine Sabia, Aurore Fayosse, Julien Dumurgier, Vincent T. van Hees, Claire Paquet, Andrew Sommerlad, Mika Kivimäki, Aline Dugravot & Archana Singh-Manoux


Sleep dysregulation is a feature of dementia but it remains unclear whether sleep duration prior to old age is associated with dementia incidence. Using data from 7959 participants of the Whitehall II study, we examined the association between sleep duration and incidence of dementia (521 diagnosed cases) using a 25-year follow-up. Here we report higher dementia risk associated with a sleep duration of six hours or less at age 50 and 60, compared with a normal (7 h) sleep duration, although this was imprecisely estimated for sleep duration at age 70 (hazard ratios (HR) 1.22 (95% confidence interval 1.01–1.48), 1.37 (1.10–1.72), and 1.24 (0.98–1.57), respectively). Persistent short sleep duration at age 50, 60, and 70 compared to persistent normal sleep duration was also associated with a 30% increased dementia risk independently of sociodemographic, behavioural, cardiometabolic, and mental health factors. These findings suggest that short sleep duration in midlife is associated with an increased risk of late-onset dementia.


April 20, 2021

View study