Associations between sleep difficulties and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in veterans and active duty military personnel of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that sleep disturbance may play an important role in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Despite the prevalence of sleep complaints among service members of recent military conflicts, few studies have examined associations between sleep and risk factors for CVD in this population. Symptom checklist items regarding distress about "trouble falling asleep" and "restless/disturbed sleep" were used as proxies for sleep onset and maintenance difficulties to examine these associations in US military service members of recent conflicts. Veterans having both sleep onset and maintenance difficulties had greater odds of being a current smoker and having psychiatric symptoms and diagnoses. Increased odds of a self-reported hypertension diagnosis and elevated systolic blood pressure were also found in certain subsets of this sample. Findings highlight the need for greater recognition of sleep difficulties as a CVD risk factor in a population known to be at increased risk for this condition.

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Citation

Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1007/s10865-015-9627-4

Publication Info

Ulmer, Christi S, Hayden B Bosworth, Anne Germain, Jennifer Lindquist, Maren Olsen, Mira Brancu, undefined VA Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center Registry Workgroup, Jean C Beckham, et al. (2015). Associations between sleep difficulties and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in veterans and active duty military personnel of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Journal of behavioral medicine, 38(3). pp. 544–555. 10.1007/s10865-015-9627-4 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/29978.

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Scholars@Duke

Ulmer

Christi S Ulmer

Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

I am an Associate Professor at Duke University School of Medicine and clinical research psychologist at the Durham VA Center of Innovation to Accelerate Discovery and Practice Transformation (ADAPT). My research is focused on increasing our understanding of the health correlates of sleep disorders, increasing patient access to behavioral sleep medicine, and developing and disseminating behaviorally-based treatments for sleep disorders. I am a Behavioral Sleep Medicine Diplomate who has been treating patients with sleep disturbances for the past 17 years. I serve as faculty on the Durham VA Health Psychology fellowship training program; the first accredited BSM training program in the VA healthcare system. I served as a VA Co-Chair for the development of VA/DOD Clinical Practice Guidelines for insomnia and sleep apnea, and served as a consultant on the VA Dissemination of training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia for more than 8 years. I am committed to expanding patient access to and provider knowledge of effective behavioral sleep medicine interventions, and increasing the recognition of sleep’s role in patient health.     

Olsen

Maren Karine Olsen

Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics

Health services research, longitudinal data methods, missing data methods

Brancu

Mira Brancu

Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Leadership, team, and organizational development, strategic planning, team effectiveness and conflict, operational management, program development.

Beckham

Jean Crowell Beckham

Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Interest in assessment and treatment of trauma, particularly as occurs for both women and men during military service; focus in treatment outcome of differential and collective contribution for psychopharmacological and behavioral interventions in PTSD populations; long term physical health effects of chronic posttraumatic stress disorder.


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