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Racial/ethnic disparities in subjective sleep duration, sleep quality, and sleep disturbances during pregnancy: an ECHO study

In the United States, racial/ethnic minoritized groups experience worse sleep than non-Hispanic Whites (nHW), but less is known about pregnant people. This is a key consideration since poor sleep during pregnancy is common and associated with increased risk of adverse perinatal outcomes. This study reports the prevalence of subjective sleep measures in a multi-racial/ethnic pregnant population from the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program. Participants’ self-reported race and ethnicity were grouped into: nHW, non-Hispanic Black/African American (nHB/AA), Hispanic, non-Hispanic Asian (nHA). Analyses examined trimester-specific (first (T1), second (T2), third (T3)) nocturnal sleep duration, quality, and disturbances (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and ECHO maternal sleep health questionnaire). Linear or multinomial regressions estimated the associations between race/ethnicity and each sleep domain by trimester, controlling for body mass index and age, with nHW as reference group. We repeated analyses within maternal education strata. nHB/AA participants reported shorter sleep duration (T2: β = -0.55 [-0.80,-0.31]; T3: β = -0.65 [-0.99,-0.31]) and more sleep disturbances (T2: β = 1.92 [1.09,2.75]; T3: β = 1.41 [0.09,2.74]). Hispanic participants reported longer sleep duration (T1: β = 0.22 [0.00004,0.44]; T2: β = 0.61 [0.47,0.76]; T3: β = 0.46 [0.22,0.70]), better sleep quality (Reference group: Very good. Fairly good T1: OR = 0.48 [0.32,0.73], T2: OR = 0.36 [0.26,0.48], T3: OR = 0.31 [0.18,0.52]. Fairly bad T1: OR = 0.27 [0.16,0.44], T2: OR = 0.46 [0.31, 0.67], T3: OR = 0.31 [0.17,0.55]), and fewer sleep disturbances (T2: β = -0.5 [-1.0,-0.12]; T3: β = -1.21 [-2.07,-0.35]). Differences persisted within the high-SES subsample. Given the stark racial/ethnic disparities in perinatal outcomes and their associations with sleep health, further research is warranted to investigate the determinants of these disparities.

Authors: Lucchini, Maristella; Wright, Rosalind J; Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes; et al.

Sleep. 2022 Sep 08;45(9).

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