Prevalence of excessive daytime sleepiness and associated factors in a Brazilian community: the Bambuí study

Sleep Med. 2004 Jan;5(1):31-6. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2003.09.009.


Background and purpose: Population-based studies of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) among adults residing in communities in developing countries are scarce. The objectives of the present study were to determine the prevalence of EDS in a Brazilian town with 15,000 inhabitants (Bambuí, MG), and the socio-demographic characteristics associated with it.

Patients and methods: In this study, 87.3% of 1221 randomly selected individuals aged 18+ participated. EDS was defined as the presence of sleepiness during the previous month, occurring three or more times per week, with consequent impairment of daily activities.

Results: EDS was reported by 16.8% of the participants. There was no association with age groups (P=0.978). Higher prevalence of EDS was seen for women than for men in the following age groups: 18-29, 45-59 and 60+. After adjustment for gender, only family income was associated with EDS. Complaints of insomnia and the use of medicine to improve sleep during the previous month were more frequent among individuals with EDS than among those without it. Among those with EDS, 46.3% had been symptomatic for more than 1 year; 25 (2.34%) reported use of medication at some time in their lives to improve EDS.

Conclusion: Social differences (represented by a lower family income) were an observed factor in the distribution of EDS, as were gender and insomnia. The high prevalence of EDS indicates that it is an important health problem, even in a small community of a developing country.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Demography
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / epidemiology
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance / methods
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Distribution
  • Surveys and Questionnaires