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Aging and disease    2019, Vol. 10 Issue (2) : 267-277     DOI: 10.14336/AD.2018.0503
Original Article |
Habitual Meat Consumption and Changes in Sleep Duration and Quality in Older Adults
Alberto Lana1,2,*, Ellen A. Struijk2, Lucía Arias-Fernandez1,2, Auxiliadora Graciani2, Arthur E. Mesas4, Fernando Rodriguez-Artalejo2,3, Esther Lopez-Garcia2,3,*
1Department of Medicine, Preventive Medicine and Public Health Area, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universidad de Oviedo, Spain.
2Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain /IdiPAZ, CIBER of Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain.
3IMDEA-Food Institute, CEI UAM+CSIC, Madrid, Spain.
4Department of Public Health, Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Londrina, PR, Brazil.
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Dietary proteins are sources of some amino acid precursors of two neurotransmitters relevant for biological rhythms, serotonin and melatonin, which are involved in sleep and alertness. Meat is the main source of proteins in many countries. Furthermore, meat consumption is of special interest because it provides high-quality protein as well as saturated and trans fatty acids. However, its effect on sleep patterns is unclear. Thereby, the aim was to examine the association of habitual meat consumption with changes in sleep duration and with sleep quality in older adults. We used data from 1,341 participants in the Seniors-ENRICA cohort aged ≥60 years, followed from 2012 through 2015. Habitual meat consumption was assessed at baseline with a validated diet history. Sleep duration and quality were ascertained both in 2012 and 2015. Analyses were performed with logistic regression and adjusted for socio-demographic variables, lifestyle, morbidity, sleep duration and poor sleep indicators at baseline. During follow-up, 9.0% of individuals increased and 7.9% decreased their sleep duration by ≥2 hours/night. Compared with individuals in the lowest tertile of meat consumption (<87 g/d), those in the highest tertile (≥128 g/d) showed increased incidence of a large decrease (≥2 h) in sleep duration (OR: 1.93; 95% CI:1.01-3.72; p-trend:0.04). Higher consumption of meat was also associated with incidence of snoring (OR:2.06; 95% CI:1.17-3.60; p-trend:0.01) and poor general sleep quality (OR:1.71; 95% CI:1.04-2.82; p-trend:0.03). Each 100 g/d increment in meat intake was associated with a 60% higher risk of both large sleep duration changes and poor sleep quality (OR:1.60; 95% CI:1.07-2.40). Results were in the same direction for red and processed meat and for white meat separately, and among individuals with physical impairment. Higher meat consumption (≥128 g/d) was associated with changes in sleep duration and with poor sleep in older adults.

Keywords meat      diet      sleep      aging      cohort study     
Corresponding Authors: Lana Alberto,Lopez-Garcia Esther   
About author:

These authors contributed equally to this work.

Issue Date: 29 March 2018
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Alberto Lana
Ellen A. Struijk
Lucía Arias-Fernandez
Auxiliadora Graciani
Arthur E. Mesas
Fernando Rodriguez-Artalejo
Esther Lopez-Garcia
Cite this article:   
Alberto Lana,Ellen A. Struijk,Lucía Arias-Fernandez, et al. Habitual Meat Consumption and Changes in Sleep Duration and Quality in Older Adults[J]. Aging and disease, 2019, 10(2): 267-277.
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Figure 1.  Study flow diagram.
Tertile 1
(<87 g/d)
Tertile 2Tertile 3
(≥128 g/d)
p for trend
Participants, n448444447
Meat intake, g/d62.0 (18.8)106.3 (11.4)173.8 (40.4)
Age, y69.0 (6.3)67.7 (5.6)67.2 (5.5)<0.001
Gender, men, %<0.001
Primary education, %51.648.243.40.02
Leisure-time physical activity, MET-h/wk22.5 (13.7)22.5 (15.1)24.4 (15.9)0.99
Current smoker, %
Alcohol intake, g/d7.2 (10.7)8.9 (12.6)13.5 (16.2)<0.001
Caffeine intake, mg/d79.4 (129.8)93.8 (143.8)100.6 (178.0)<0.001
Sodium, g/d2.2 (0.7)2.6 (0.7)3.3 (1.1)<0.001
Cholesterol, g/d246 (95)295 (97)360 (125)<0.001
Saturated fatty acids intake, g/d21.7 (8.1)24.4 (8.4)28.5 (10.1)<0.001
Energy, kcal/d1,855 (367)2,006 (395)2,274 (520)<0.001
MEDAS scorea6.5 (1.6)6.3 (1.5)6.3 (1.6)0.06
BMI, kg/m227.6 (15.9)28.1 (19.1)29.1 (18.4)0.02
Morbidity, %
 Cardiovascular disease6.
 Osteomuscular disease47.
Sleep duration in 2012, h6.8 (1.3)7.0 (1.3)6.9 (1.3)0.66
Sleep duration in 2015, h7.0 (1.3)6.9 (1.3)7.0 (1.4)0.55
No changes in sleep duration from 2012 to 2015, %36.436.034.40.31
Increase in sleep duration, min77.2 (48.7)72.9 (37.5)80.8 (45.9)0.42
Decrease in sleep duration, min76.5 (47.8)87.7 (52.0)85.9 (54.4)0.17
Indicators of poor sleep quality in 2012b, n2.9 (1.8)2.8 (1.7)2.8 (1.7)0.56
Indicators of poor sleep quality in 2015b, n2.8 (1.7)2.9 (1.7)2.8 (1.6)0.72
Table 1  Baseline characteristics of the study participants according to meat consumption (n=1,341).
Tertile 1
(<87 g/d)
Tertile 2Tertile 3
(≥128 g/d)
p for trend
No changea, n163160148
 Reference category1.001.001.00
Increase ≥30 min to <2 h, n133112133
 Model 11.000.90 (0.64-1.27)1.20 (0.85-1.70)0.29
 Model 21.000.94 (0.66-1.33)1.29 (0.90-1.86)0.18
 Model 31.000.96 (0.66-1.37)1.40 (0.94-2.10)0.10
Increase ≥2 h, n373549
 Model 11.001.07 (0.63-1.81)1.76 (1.05-2.94)0.03
 Model 21.001.10 (0.64-1.91)1.61 (0.92-2.80)0.09
 Model 31.001.18 (0.66-2.09)1.76 (0.95-3.25)0.07
Decrease ≥30 min to <2 h, n909184
 Model 11.001.10 (0.76-1.61)1.25 (0.85-1.85)0.27
 Model 21.001.18 (0.80-1.75)1.31 (0.86-1.99)0.20
 Model 31.001.20 (0.80-1.80)1.42 (0.90-2.34)0.13
Decrease ≥2 h, n254833
 Model 11.001.90 (1.07-3.37)1.99 (1.07-3.69)0.03
 Model 21.001.90 (1.05-3.42)1.93 (1.01-3.72)0.04
 Model 31.002.06 (1.11-3.85)2.27 (1.10-4.66)0.03

Slight changeb (<2 h), n223203217
 Model 11.000.98 (0.73-1.31)1.22 (0.90-1.66)0.21
 Model 21.001.03 (0.76-1.40)1.29 (0.93-1.75)0.13
 Model 31.001.05 (0.77-1.46)1.40 (0.99-1.99)0.06
Large changeb (≥2 h), n628382
 Model 11.001.38 (0.91-2.09)1.84 (1.20-2.82)0.005
 Model 21.001.36 (0.89-2.08)1.68 (1.07-2.09)0.02
 Model 31.001.48 (0.95-2.31)1.89 (1.15-3.10)0.01
Table 2  Odds ratios (95% confidence interval) for the association between tertiles of meat consumption and change in sleep duration during a 2.8 years follow-up of older adults (n=1,341).
Tertile 1
(<87 g/d)
Tertile 2Tertile 3
(≥128 g/d)
p for trend
Difficulty falling asleep, n cases/N52/27061/28655/319
 Model 11.001.25 (0.82-1.91)1.12 (0.72-1.72)0.64
 Model 21.001.22 (0.79-1.89)1.07 (0.67-1.72)0.78
 Model 31.001.17 (0.74-1.84)0.96 (0.58-1.60)0.72
Awakening during the night, n cases/N102/16297/163102/166
 Model 11.000.89 (0.56-1.40)0.97 (0.61-1.55)0.90
 Model 21.000.85 (0.52-1.36)0.99 (0.59-1.66)0.96
 Model 31.000.77 (0.47-1.29)0.84 (0.48-1.47)0.55
Early awakening, n cases/N64/24368/24666/251
 Model 11.001.10 (0.73-1.65)1.08 (0.71-1.64)0.72
 Model 21.001.12 (0.73-1.70)1.06 (0.66-1.68)0.81
 Model 31.001.11 (0.72-1.73)1.14 (0.69-1.89)0.60
Need to sleep at daytime, n cases/N52/39131/37844/378
 Model 11.000.57 (0.36-0.94)0.86 (0.55-1.35)0.48
 Model 21.000.58 (0.35-0.95)0.85 (0.53-1.37)0.46
 Model 31.000.57 (0.34-0.94)0.77 (0.45-1.31)0.31
Not feeling rested in the morning, n cases/N48/35336/36030/359
 Model 11.000.78 (0.49-1.25)0.71 (0.43-1.18)0.17
 Model 21.000.75 (0.46-1.24)0.68 (0.39-1.17)0.15
 Model 31.000.79 (0.47-1.32)0.75 (0.41-1.37)0.33
Use of sleeping medications, n cases/N27/34742/33532/347
 Model 11.001.79 (1.07-2.99)1.42 (0.81-2.46)0.22
 Model 21.001.90 (1.10-3.27)1.49 (0.81-2.72)0.20
 Model 31.002.09 (1.19-3.69)1.55 (0.80-2.94)0.19
Snoring, n cases/N37/18438/17348/149
 Model 11.001.08 (0.64-1.82)1.85 (1.11-3.09)0.02
 Model 21.001.18 (0.68-2.04)2.06 (1.17-3.60)0.01
 Model 31.001.26 (0.71-2.25)2.13 (1.14-3.99)0.02
Poor general sleep quality, n cases/N39/32951/33553/330
 Model 11.001.44 (0.92-2.27)1.67 (1.05-2.66)0.03
 Model 21.001.38 (0.86-2.21)1.71 (1.04-2.82)0.03
 Model 31.001.29 (0.79-2.12)1.35 (0.78-2.33)0.29
Daytime sleepinessa, n cases/N49/38238/37437/369
 Model 11.000.80 (0.50-1.27)0.86 (0.53-1.38)0.50
 Model 21.000.75 (0.46-1.21)0.79 (0.47-1.31)0.34
 Model 31.000.70 (0.43-1.16)0.69 (0.40-1.20)0.18
Table 3  Odds ratios (95% confidence interval) for the association between tertiles of meat consumption and the incidence of each indicator of poor sleep quality during a 2.8 years follow-up of older adults (n=1,341).
Tertile 1
(<87 g/d)
Tertile 2Tertile 3
(≥128 g/d)
p for trendContinuous per 100 g/d increment
0 endpointa, n1009184
 Reference category1.001.001.00
1 endpoint, n294283288
 Model 11.001.06 (0.75-1.52)1.26 (0.87-1.81)0.231.15 (0.86-1.54)
 Model 21.001.01 (0.69-1.46)1.26 (0.86-1.87)0.291.17 (0.86-1.59)
 Model 31.000.98 (0.66-1.43)1.16 (0.76-1.78)0.241.09 (0.77-1.53)
2 endpoints, n547275
 Model 11.001.43 (0.87-2.35)2.08 (1.25-3.45)0.0041.68 (1.14-2.45)
 Model 21.001.33 (0.80-2.22)1.96 (1.14-3.35)0.011.60 (1.07-2.40)
 Model 31.001.35 (0.79-3.29)1.78 (1.00-3.22)0.051.44 (0.92-2.26)
Table 4  Odds ratios (95% confidence interval) for the association between meat consumption and both change in sleep duration and number of indicators of poor sleep quality during a 2.8 years follow-up of older adults (n=1,341).
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