Skip to main content
Does Insomnia Kill?
Sleep (2005)
  • Barbara Phillips, University of Kentucky College of Medicine
  • David M. Mannino

Study Objectives:

We investigated the prevalence and hazard ratios for insomnia complaints in a large cohort of middle-aged men and women.


The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study is a prospective study of cardiovascular disease. Using multivariate regression analysis, we predicted the likelihood of endorsing the insomnia complaints by age, sex, alcohol intake, smoking, diabetes, heart disease, menopausal status, use of hypnotics, hypertension, depressive symptoms, education level, body mass index, respiratory symptoms, and pulmonary function status. We predicted the hazard ratios (HR) of death at 6.3 ± 1.1 year by endorsement of insomnia complaints and by hypnotic use controlling for covariates.


North American communities.


13563 participants aged 45 to 69 years at baseline



Measurements and Results:

The prevalence of insomnia complaints in this cohort was 23%. Predictors of insomnia complaints were female sex (odds ratio [OR] 0.56, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.45-0.70 for men), annual family income below $50,000 (OR 1.23, CI 1.09-1.40), age 40 to 49 years (OR 1.29, CI 1.11-1.50), depressive symptoms (OR 5.05, CI 4.60- 5.55), heart disease (OR 1.89, CI 1.67-2.14), severe airflow obstruction (OR 1.61, CI 1.17-2.22), pulmonary symptoms (OR 1.71, CI 1.5-1.95), and restrictive lung disease (OR 1.27, CI 1.10-1.47). After controlling for covariates, insomnia complaints were not associated with an increased risk for death (OR 1.01, CI 0.85-1.21), nor was the use of hypnotics (OR 1.38, CI 0.90-2.13).


In this cohort, the prevalence of insomnia complaints was 23%. After controlling for confounders, neither insomnia complaints nor hypnotic use predicted increased mortality over 6.3 years.

  • Sleeping pills,
  • lifestyle,
  • nonrestorative sleep,
  • benzodiazepines,
  • sleep continuity,
  • depression,
  • women,
  • aging,
  • ARIC
Publication Date
Citation Information
Barbara Phillips and David M. Mannino. "Does Insomnia Kill?" Sleep Vol. 28 Iss. 8 (2005)
Available at: