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Age, cohort and period effects in the prevalence of sleep disturbances among older people: The impact of economic downturn


  • Dregan, Alex
  • Armstrong, David


Using two longitudinal and nationally representative datasets, this study employs a cross-cohort analysis to examine age, cohort and period effects in the prevalence of sleep loss through worry for people over the age of 50 in the UK. The likelihood of reporting sleep loss through worry is calculated at two time-points for 7785 respondents from the Health and Activity Survey (HALs) and 21,834 respondents from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), with baseline information on sleep loss through worry. Descriptive statistical methods were applied to determine the prevalence rates in sleep loss through worry at each survey within both datasets. The results of analysis reveal that sleep loss through worry declined with age, but this pattern was tempered by a temporary increase in the early 1990s. The contemporary economic downturn is suggested as a possible explanation for the significant increase in the prevalence of sleep loss through worry in 1991.

Suggested Citation

  • Dregan, Alex & Armstrong, David, 2009. "Age, cohort and period effects in the prevalence of sleep disturbances among older people: The impact of economic downturn," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(10), pages 1432-1438, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:69:y:2009:i:10:p:1432-1438

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1997:87:10:1620-1625_6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Christopher Winship & David J. Harding, 2008. "A Mechanism-Based Approach to the Identification of Age–Period–Cohort Models," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 36(3), pages 362-401, February.
    3. Nancy G. Kutner & Donald L. Bliwise & Donna Brogan & Rebecca Zhang, 2001. "Race and Restless Sleep Complaint in Older Chronic Dialysis Patients and Nondialysis Community Controls," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 56(3), pages 170-175.
    4. Wenjiang J. Fu, 2008. "A Smoothing Cohort Model in Age–Period–Cohort Analysis With Applications to Homicide Arrest Rates and Lung Cancer Mortality Rates," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 36(3), pages 327-361, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Arber, Sara & Fenn, Kirsty & Meadows, Robert, 2014. "Subjective financial well-being, income and health inequalities in mid and later life in Britain," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 12-20.


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