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Study: Black Professionals More Sleep Deprived Than White Colleagues

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Diane Stern is co-anchor of “The WBZ Afternoon News,” broadcast on WBZ...
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BOSTON (CBS) — Blacks are more likely than whites to not get enough sleep.

That’s according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health, published Monday in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Diane Stern reports

According to the study, the black-white sleep disparity is greatest among professionals.

“Short sleep,” less than seven hours, has been linked to health problems including obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and death.

“With increasing numbers of blacks entering professional and management roles in numerous industries, it is important to investigate and address the social factors contributing to the short sleep disparities in blacks compared with whites in general, and particularly in professional settings,” said lead author Chandra Jackson, Yerby postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at HSPH.

The study looked at eight years worth of data from 2004 to 2011 from almost 137,000 adults surveyed.

“Further research is certainly needed to understand the various social and cultural factors that may be contributing,” Jackson told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

Blacks working in professional or management positions were more likely to experience short sleep than their white counterparts (42% vs. 26%). Blacks working in support services were also more likely to experience short sleep than whites (37% vs. 26%), as were laborers, (35% vs. 32%).

The only industries in which blacks and whites had similar rates of short sleep were retail and food.

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