Sleep Problem Risk for Adolescents With Sickle Cell Disease: Sociodemographic, Physical, and Disease-related Correlates

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The aims of the current study were to investigate whether SCD incurs an additional risk for poor sleep over and above the influence of sociodemographic factors (ie, race and sex) during adolescence, and to explore the relationships between sociodemographic, physical (ie, age and pubertal status), and disease-related factors (ie, SCD genotype and hydroxyurea use) on sleep problem risk during adolescence. Black adolescents (age, 12 to 17 y) with SCD (n=53) were recruited from regional pediatric SCD clinics in the southeast and a sample of healthy black adolescents (n=160) were recruited from middle and high schools. Regression analyses indicated that SCD was uniquely related to sleeping more, and worse sleep quality over and above the influence of sociodemographic factors. Having a more severe SCD genotype was related to worse sleep quality and higher pubertal status was related to sleeping longer during the week. Results indicate the need for systematic assessments of sleep problems, with more a focus on youth with more severe genotypes and higher pubertal status. Future research should focus on characterizing trajectories of sleep problems in this population, identifying key risk factors, and elucidating mechanisms linking risk factors to sleep problem risk to aid in tailoring interventions for this population.

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