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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 May;22(5):E9-12. doi: 10.1002/oby.20701. Epub 2014 Feb 11.

Change in sleep duration and visceral fat accumulation over 6 years in adults.

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Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.



To investigate the relationship between change in sleep duration and long-term visceral adiposity change in adults.


A longitudinal analysis was conducted on 293 participants, aged 18-65 years, followed for a mean of 6.0 ± 0.9 years. At baseline and year 6, sleep duration was self-reported and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) assessed using computed tomography. Multivariable modeling was used to examine the association between change in sleep duration and VAT change over the 6-year time period, with adjustments made for age, sex, change in BMI, personal characteristics, energy intake, and physical activity.


Participants gained an average of 19.2 ± 37.3 cm(2) in VAT over the follow-up period. Baseline short (≤6 h/day) and long (≥9 h/day) sleepers gained significantly more VAT than those reporting sleeping 7-8 hours a night (23.4 and 20.2 cm(2) vs. 14.1 cm(2) , respectively, P < 0.05). Using continuous data, we observed that the change in sleep duration was not associated with VAT change. However, a change in sleep duration from ≤6 h/day to 7-8 h/day was associated with 6 cm(2) fewer VAT gain after multivariable adjustment (P < 0.05).


A spontaneous change in sleep duration (from a short to an adequate duration) is independently and inversely associated with long-term VAT accumulation.

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