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The Impact of Mid- and Late-Life Loss on Insomnia: Findings From the Health and Retirement Study, 2010 Cohort

Simpson, Cherie PhD, APRN, CNS-BC; Allegra, Joseph C. MPH; Ezeamama, Amara E. PhD; Elkins, Jennifer PhD; Miles, Toni MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/FCH.0000000000000039
Original Articles

Bereavement and insomnia are both well-documented risk factors for illness. We use cohort data to estimate risk of insomnia after death of a family member among adults aged 50 to 70 years. Each day, 6700 persons die in the United States. During the next 20 years, this number will increase. In this cohort, any loss increases the likelihood of insomnia. The highest rates of insomnia occur among women aged 50 to 59 years; men aged 65 to 70 years, and persons reporting death of a spouse/partner or child. Physical activity reduces this risk by one-third. Bereavement is a public health issue requiring a targeted response.

School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin (Dr Simpson); and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Mr Allegra and Drs Ezeamama and Miles) and School of Social Work (Dr Elkins), University of Georgia, Athens.

Correspondence: Cherie Simpson, PhD, APRN, CNS-BC, School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin, 1700 Red River, D0100, Austin, TX 78701 (

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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