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Sleep. 2017 Nov 1;40(11). doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsx156.

Sleep Duration Trajectories and Systemic Inflammation in Young Adults: Results From the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health).

Author information

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA.
Department of Community and Family Health and the Chiles Center, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA.
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA.


Study Objectives:

This study examines the effects of short and long sleep duration patterns in young adults on the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), as well as the potential effect modification by sex.


Using data from waves III (age 18-26) and IV (age 24-32) of the National Longitudinal study of adolescent to adult health, we examined the association between sleep trajectories in young adults, and the risk of elevated high sensitivity-CRP (hs-CRP), a marker of systemic inflammation.


Short sleep trajectories were associated with significantly elevated log-transformed hs-CRP (coefficient = 0.11, p-value .03) and with significantly higher odds of having hs-CRP levels > 3 mg/L (OR = 1.86, 95% CI 1.29, 2.67). The association was modified by sex, with the association between short sleep duration and hs-CRP limited to males. Both the continuous (coefficient 0.117, p-value = .0362) and the categorized hs-CRP (OR = 2.21, 95% CI 1.48, 3.30) were significantly elevated with short sleep durations in males, whereas no significant associations were seen in females with short sleep durations. By contrast, log hs-CRP was significantly elevated in females with long sleep durations (coefficient = 0.232, p-value = .0296), with a nonsignificant increase in the odds of having hs-CRP levels greater than 3 mg/L (OR = 1.48, 95% CI 0.75, 2.93), whereas there were no associations with long sleep duration in males.


Systemic inflammation, measured by an elevated level of hs-CRP, is seen with persistent short sleep duration in young adult men and persistent long sleep duration in young adult women.


inflammation; sleep duration; trajectories; young adults

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