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The Role of Prescription Medications in the Association of Self-Reported Sleep Duration and Obesity in U.S. Adults, 2007–2012
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  • Alternative Title:
    Obesity (Silver Spring)
  • Description:

    Previous research has not investigated the role of prescription medication in sleep-obesity associations despite the fact that 56% of U.S. adults take at least one prescription medication.


    Data from n = 16,622 adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007–2012) were used to examine how the association between obesity and self-reported sleep duration varied by total number of prescription medications used in the past 30 days and by select classes of prescription medications including anxiolytics/sedatives/hypnotics, antidepressants, sleep aids, anticonvulsants, thyroid agents, and metabolic agents.


    Logistic regression analyses showed a significant inverse linear association of sleep duration and obesity, regardless of the total number of prescription medications individuals were taking. Each additional hour of sleep was associated with a 10% decrease in the odds of obesity. Results suggest that increased sleep duration is associated with lower odds of having obesity overall, even for long-duration sleepers (≥9 h), and this association does not differ for those taking antidepressants, thyroid agents, metabolic agents, and multiple prescription medications.


    The relationship between sleep duration and obesity was similar among all prescription medication users and nonusers. The potential for a nonlinear association between sleep duration and obesity may be important to examine in some specific prescription medication classes.

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