A population-based twin study on sleep duration and body composition

Liu, R.; Liu, X.; Arguelles, L. M.; Patwari, P. P.; Zee, P. C.; Chervin, R. D.; Ouyang, F.; Christoffel, K. K.; Zhang, S.; Hong, X.; Wang, G.; Xu, X.; Wang, X.

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Aug 27; 20(1):192-9


The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between sleep duration and body composition and to estimate the genetic contribution of sleep duration and body composition in a Chinese twin population. This cross-sectional analysis included 738 men and 511 women aged 21-72 year. Anthropometric and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) measures of body composition were used. Sleep duration was obtained from a standard sleep questionnaire. Multiple regression models were used to examine the association between sleep duration and body composition measures. Structural equation modeling was used to assess the heritability of sleep duration and body composition. Compared with individuals in the 2nd and 3rd age-specific quartiles of sleep duration (reference group), shorter (1st quartile) sleep duration among women but not men was associated with higher z-scores (0.248-0.317) for all adiposity measures-BMI, fat mass index (FMI), percent body fat mass (%BF), and percent trunk fat mass (%TF), P < 0.05 for each-and with 0.306 lower z-scores for percent body lean mass (%LM) and 0.353 lower lean/fat mass ratio (LFR), P < 0.01 for each. The heritability of sleep duration was 0.27 in men and 0.29 in women, while the heritability of body composition was as high as 0.56-0.73 after adjustment for age in both genders. Short sleep duration was associated with increased body fat and decreased lean body mass in women but not in men. Sleep duration was largely influenced by environmental factors while adiposity measures were mainly influenced by genetic factors.

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