Actigraphy measured sleep indices and adiposity: The multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis (MESA)

Rachel P. Ogilvie, Susan Redline, Alain G. Bertoni, Xiaoli Chen, Pamela Ouyang, Moyses Szklo, Pamela L. Lutsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: To investigate the cross-sectional relationship between objectively measured sleep characteristics and multiple indices of adiposity in racially/ethnically diverse older adults within the MESA Sleep study (n = 2,146). Methods: 7-day actigraphy was used to assess sleep duration, sleep efficiency, and night-to-night variability. Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and total body fat were modeled continuously and according to obesity cut-points. Models were adjusted for demographic, socioeconomic, and behavioral variables. Results: Participants who slept less than 6 hours a night had significantly higher BMI, waist circumference, and body fat relative to those who slept 7-8 hours. Those who slept less than 5 hours had a 16% higher prevalence of general obesity (BMI ≥ 30 vs. < 25 kg/m2) (95% [CI]: 0.08-0.24) and a 9% higher prevalence of abdominal obesity (waist circumference: women ≥ 88 centimeters, men ≥ 102 centimeters; 95% CI: 0.03-0.16) compared to those who slept 7-8 hours. Results were similar for sleep efficiency and night-to-night sleep variability. Conclusions: Among an older multi-ethnic cohort, we found robust associations across multiple indices of sleep and adiposity. Targeting sleep characteristics may be of benefit in obesity interventions, but more research is needed to rule out reverse causality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1701-1708
Number of pages8
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Body mass index
  • Obesity
  • Sleep duration
  • Sleep efficiency
  • Waist circumference


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