To determine the prevalence of insomnia, its sociodemographic and clinical correlates, and treatment patterns in Chinesepeople.
A total of 5,926 subjects were randomly selected in the urban and rural areas of Beijing and interviewed using standardized assessment tools. Basic sociodemographic and clinical data were also collected.
Urban and rural regions of Beijing municipality, China.
Patients or Participants
Adult residents older than 15 years.
Measurements and Results
The prevalence of at least one type of insomnia was 9.2%; the rates of difficulty initiating sleep (DIS), difficulty
maintaining sleep (DMS), and early morning awakening (EMA) were 7.0%, 8.0%, and 4.9%, respectively. Increased age (age >44 and 24 years in the urban and rural samples, respectively), female sex, married, divorced, separated, or widowed marital status; having a major medical condition; and suffering from a psychiatric disorder were risk factors for all types of insomnia in both the urban and rural samples. A low level of education (primary school or illiteracy) was significantly associated with a higher likelihood of all types of insomnia in the urban sample. Current smokers and current drinkers were less likely to report any type of insomnia in the rural sample. Unemployment was associated with DMS in the urban sample, while it was associated with DIS and DMS in the rural sample. Only 5.4% of the participants with any type of insomnia reported their symptoms to medical practitioners. In contrast, nearly one-third of the subjects with insomnia reported taking benzodiazepines as sleep-enhancing drugs.
Nationwide epidemiologic surveys are needed to further explore the prevalence of insomnia in China. The low percentage of subjects treated for insomnia indicates a major public health problem that should be addressed. Strict controls on use of benzodiazepines are warranted.