Is self-reported morbidity related to the circadian clock?

Jacques Taillard, Pierre Philip, Jean-François Chastang, Konstanze Diefenbach, Bernard Bioulac
J Biol Rhythms. 2001-04-01; 16(2): 183-190
DOI: 10.1177/074873001129001764

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1. J Biol Rhythms. 2001 Apr;16(2):183-90.

Is self-reported morbidity related to the circadian clock?

Taillard J(1), Philip P, Chastang JF, Diefenbach K, Bioulac B.

Author information:
(1)Clinique du sommeil, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Pellegrin, Bordeaux,

Morningness and eveningness preference, an endogenous component of the circadian
clock, is characterized by an interindividual difference in circadian phase and
requires of humans a specific timing of behavior. The biological rhythms of
morning and evening types are consequently phase shifted with fixed socioeconomic
constraints. The impact of this phase shift on health is widely debated. The
purpose of the authors’ study was to determine the influence of
morningness/eveningness preference on self-reported morbidity and health in an
active population. A total of 1165 nonshift workers of the French national
electrical and gas company, enrolled in the GAZEL cohort and aged 51.3+/-3.3
years, were included in this study. They replied by mail with a completed
questionnaire, including morningness/eveningness preference, self-reported
morbidity, subjective sleep patterns, and daytime somnolence and sleeping
schedules for 3 weeks, during the spring of 1997. Annual self-reported health
impairments were assessed with the annual general questionnaire of the GAZEL
cohort for 1997. After adjustment for age, sex, and occupational status,
morningness-like and eveningness-like participants reported a specific worse
self-reported morbidity. Whereas morningness was associated with worse sleep (p =
0.0001), eveningness was associated with feeling less energetic (p = 0.04) and
physical mobility (p = 0.02). These relationships were observed even in good
sleepers, except for physical mobility. After adjustment for confounding
variables, eveningness-like participants reported more sleep (p = 0.0004) and
mood (p = 0.00018) disorders than morningness-like participants.
Morningness/eveningness preference was related to specific chronic complaints of
insomnia: morningness was related with difficulty in maintaining sleep (p =
0.0005) and the impossibility to return to sleep in the early morning (p =
0.0001) (sleep phase-advance syndrome); eveningness was related to difficulty in
initiating sleep (p = 0.0001) and morning sleepiness (p = 0.0001). In good
sleepers, morningness was related with sleep phase-advance syndrome (p = 0.0001)
and eveningness with morning sleepiness (p = 0.0001). In conclusion, the
expression (phase advance or delay) of the circadian clock could be related to
worse self-reported morbidity and health. These findings must be verified by
further epidemiological studies, but they suggest that the impossibility to
return to sleep in the early morning is not only associated with age.

DOI: 10.1177/074873001129001764
PMID: 11302560 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus