Clinical Study Spotlight: Impact of Sleep Disorders on Smoking and Lung Health in African Americans

By Aditi Satti, MD; Freda Patterson, PhD; Andrew Gangemi, MD; and Massa Zantah, MD

A new NIH-funded study at Temple focuses on distinguishing individual, social, and environmental risk factors for COPD and other serious health issues among African-American patients who smoke, based on their sleep habits.

Smokers are vulnerable to poorer sleep health—characterized by longer sleep latency, reduced sleep quality, decreased sleep duration and higher rates of insomnia. Short sleep (<7 hours per night) is a well-demonstrated risk factor for cardiometabolic disease. Short sleepers are 45 percent more likely to smoke tobacco than adequate sleepers (7–8 hours/night), while both short and long sleep (>9 hours/night) is associated with higher cigarette consumption. Sleep may be an understudied and underutilized intervention target for smoking cessation.

African-Americans are at higher risk for both short sleep and poor lung health; they have a greater likelihood of early-onset COPD, and experience more severe COPD symptoms and greater declines in quality of life following exacerbation of COPD symptoms. Not only that, but they are more likely to be underdiagnosed, and, once diagnosed, experience inadequate medical care.
Our NIH-funded study will recruit African-American patients from the Temple Health System and follow smoking habits, sleep quality and lung health over a four-year period. Results from our study may inform primary and secondary prevention approaches to smoking cessation through sleep.

If you are a health care provider who wishes to refer patients for participation in this study, please contact Dr. Aditi Satti.