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Prev Chronic Dis. 2010 Mar;7(2):A40. Epub 2010 Feb 15.

Disturbed sleep among adolescents living in 2 communities on the Texas-Mexico border, 2000-2003.

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University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Austin, TX 78701, USA.



Disturbed sleep is a public health problem, but few studies describe the prevalence of sleep problems among Hispanic adolescents. We estimated the prevalence of disturbed sleep and associated factors among ninth graders living on the Texas-Mexico border.


We used probabilistic sampling to conduct 2 cross-sectional, school-based surveys: 1 during the 2000-2001 school year in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas (n = 4,901), and 1 during the 2002-2003 school year in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico (n = 669). We assessed disturbed sleep during the 4 weeks before the survey.


The prevalence of disturbed sleep in Matamoros was 36% and in the Lower Rio Grande Valley was 28%. Factors associated with disturbed sleep in both populations were smoking cigarettes, having ever used cocaine, having been forced to have sex, considering attempting suicide, feeling sad, and going without eating for 24 hours or more.


This study revealed a high prevalence of disturbed sleep in high school students living on the Texas-Mexico border. This public health issue should be further investigated in both communities.

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