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Acta Medica Colombiana

Print version ISSN 0120-2448

Abstract

DIAZ CABEZAS, Ricardo; RUANO RESTREPO, Mario Iván  and  CHACON CARDONA, Arnoby. A study of sleep disorders in Caldas, Colombia. Acta Med Colomb [online]. 2009, vol.34, n.2, pp.66-72. ISSN 0120-2448.

Introduction: sleep disorders (SD) are a major cause of medical consultation and physical and mental morbidity, and can affect individuals of any age or socioeconomic status. However, there is little information on their prevalence and impact on different aspects of people's lives. In Colombia there has not been enough research in this field, and therefore there is no first-hand information allowing the implementation of policies for prevention and management. Previous Colombian neuroepidemiological studies using WHO methodology have not addressed these important pathological conditions. A study of neurological disorders carried out by our group in 2004 showed a high prevalence of symptoms of insomnia in the community. This prompted this investigation, which is targeted exclusively on SD. Aim: to determine the frequency, sociodemographic characteristics, and impact of SD in a community in the center of the department of Caldas. Subjects and Methods: we performed a transversal study on a previously studied population, older than 7 years, by household survey in the cities of Manizales, Neira and Villamaria. The statistical packages Epiinfo 6.04d and Epidata 3.1 were used to analyze the information. It was approved by the ethics committee of the Faculty of Health at the University of Caldas. Results: we interviewed 787 people at each stage of the study (2004 and 2008), of whom 118 were surveyed in both periods. Women accounted for two thirds of the sample and the average age was 39.9 years (+/- 19.3 y). A similar overall prevalence of insomnia (46.8% and 47.2%) was found in both periods. The prevalence of chronic insomnia was 32%. Habitual snoring also had similar occurrence rates (36% and 33%). Hypersomnia increased from 14.6 to 20.9% (p <0.05), while the parasomnias decreased from 38% to 28% (p <0.01) for each phase. Despite the frequency of SD, only 16% presented with this complaint. Conclusions: these data show that sleep disorders are highly prevalent in our population and warrant an active search by staff and health agencies, in order to provide appropriate management for this public health problem.

Keywords : epidemiology; hypersomnia; insomnia; parasomnia; snoring; sleep disorders.

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