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J Epidemiol. 2010;20(5):385-90. Epub 2010 Aug 7.

A 4-year study of the association between short sleep duration and change in body mass index in Japanese male workers.

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Department of Safety and Health, Tokyo Gas Co, Ltd, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan.



Studies of Western populations have shown an inconsistent longitudinal association between short sleep duration and change in body mass index (BMI); a recent Japanese cohort study reported a significant association in men, but over a 1-year period. The aim of this longitudinal study was to examine whether this association was robust over a 4-year interval in Japanese men.


A total of 3803 middle-aged Japanese male white-collar workers (mean age 47.8 years, mean BMI 23.9 kg/m(2)) in Tokyo, Japan, were included in this study from 1994-1995 (baseline) to 1998-1999 (follow-up). Height and weight were objectively measured at annual health checkups, and other data, including sleep duration, were collected using a structured interview. We used linear regression models to estimate change in BMI, after adjustment for covariates. The reference category for sleep duration was set to 7 hours, to conform with previous studies.


As compared with participants sleeping 7 hours, those sleeping 5 hours or less had a significantly higher BMI at baseline (beta coefficient: 0.34 kg/m(2), 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.03, 0.65) and gained 0.15 kg/m(2) in BMI over 4 years (95% CI: 0.03, 0.27), after adjustment for age, baseline BMI, lifestyle behavior, and medication.


The longitudinal association between short sleep duration at baseline and relative increase in BMI was significant in Japanese male workers over a 4-year interval.

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