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Sleep Curtailment to Age 7 Years Impacts BMI, Obesity

Children with maximum versus minimum sleep curtailment have increased overall, central adiposity

MONDAY, May 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For young children aged 6 months to 7 years, chronic sleep curtailment correlates with increased body mass index (BMI) z score in mid-childhood and with higher overall and central adiposity, according to a study published online May 19 in Pediatrics.

Elsie M. Taveras, M.D., M.P.H., from the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston, and colleagues examined the correlation between chronic sleep curtailment in childhood with total and central adiposity in a cohort of 1,046 children. Mothers reported their children's sleep duration at age 6 months and annually from age 1 to 7 years. A sleep curtailment score was used, which ranged from 0 (indicating the maximal sleep curtailment) to 13 (indicating never having curtailed sleep). Outcomes were measured in mid-childhood.

The researchers found that children with a sleep score of 0 to 4 had a BMI z score that was 0.48 units (95 percent confidence interval, 0.13 to 0.83) higher than those with a sleep score of 12 to 13, after multivariate adjustment. Similar correlations were seen for higher total and trunk fat mass index and waist and hip circumferences. The odds of obesity were higher for children with a score of 0 to 4 versus 12 to 13 (odds ratio, 2.62; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.99 to 6.97).

"Chronic sleep curtailment from infancy to school age was associated with higher overall and central adiposity in mid-childhood," the authors write.

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