University Study Finds a Genetic Factor in the Gender Gap for Insomnia

lindA new study led by Mackenzie Lind, a student in the M.D./Ph.D. program in psychiatry at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, finds there is a genetic explanation for the gender gap in insomnia. About 10 percent of the U.S. population experiences chronic insomnia and previous research has shown that women are more likely than men to develop insomnia symptoms.

This research of 7,500 male and female adult twins found that there is a genetic basics for the gender differences in insomnia. “The existence of evidence for these potential sex differences suggests that clinicians should target females for sleep interventions since it looks like there may be more of a genetic risk for experiencing them,” Lind said. She also notes that insomnia can be a risk factor for other negative health consequences such as depression and anxiety.

The study, “A Longitudinal Twin Study of Insomnia Symptoms in Adults,” was published in the journal Sleep, a publication of the Sleep Research Society and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study


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