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Womens Health Issues. 2014 Jul-Aug;24(4):e447-54. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2014.04.005.

Obesity in urban women: associations with sleep and sleepiness, fatigue and activity.

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College of Nursing, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. Electronic address:
College of Nursing, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan.



African-American women (AAW) have the highest prevalence of obesity and therefore are at greater risk for obesity-related symptoms and diseases. Obese individuals frequently report poorer sleep quality, more daytime sleepiness, more severe fatigue, and higher physical inactivity than normal weight individuals. The relationships among these variables have not been well-characterized in obese, urban-dwelling, AAW.


This descriptive, correlational study examined the relationships among sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, level of physical activity, and body mass index (BMI) in AAW living in an urban setting. A convenience sample of 69 young adult women with a BMI of greater than 30 kg/m(2) completed measures of sleep quality, sleepiness, fatigue severity, sense of community, and physical activity. Further analysis was done to determine if any of the study variables predicted level of physical activity.


There was a strong and significant correlation between BMI and overall fatigue severity and a significant, negative correlation between BMI and physical activity performance. BMI was significantly correlated with sleep latency but not global sleep quality. There were significant relationships between fatigue severity and poorer global sleep quality and daytime sleepiness. Multiple regression analysis showed BMI and age accounted for a significant amount of the variance in physical activity.


Higher BMI was associated with significant fatigue. Fatigue severity was associated with poorer global sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, and a sense of community. Higher BMI may be a barrier to having an active lifestyle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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