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Sleep Quality & Early Life War Exposure: Insomnia Among Vietnamese Older Adults Using Data from the Vietnam Health and Aging Study (VHAS)

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Sierra Young

In peace and war, the lack of sleep works like termites in a house: below the surface, gnawing quietly and unseen to produce gradual weakening which can lead to sudden and unexpected collapse.""
-Major General Aubrey Newman (Follow Me, 1981, p. 279) We aim to explore the associations between insomnia, early-life war-related stressors, recent life events, other environmental factors, and health outcomes in a sample of 2,447 older Vietnamese adults derived from the 2018 Vietnam Health and Aging Study (VHAS). Insomnia is one of the main symptoms of a variety of adverse health outcomes and sleep disorders but there is a knowledge gap in Low- to Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) like Vietnam. We find that most respondents report moderate to severe insomnia. In ordered logistic regression analyses we find that respondents who served in the military, and who experienced high levels of wartime violence stressors and wartime malevolent conditions experience more severe insomnia in late adulthood. These associations are mediated by the experience of recent severe PTSD and physical pain. This research makes valuable steps toward understanding war's enduring scars and global efforts to understand, prevent, and treat sleep problems.
University / Institution: University of Utah
Type: Oral
Format: In Person
SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)
Area of Research: Social Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Kim Korinek
Location: Union Building, ROOM 312 (10:00am)