Previous research suggests that ethnic groups differ in the prevalence and severity of disordered sleep symptoms. This study used meta-analysis to determine the magnitude of ethnic differences between African Americans (AAs) and Caucasian Americans (CAs) in insomnia symptoms and sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). It also used moderator analyses to explore the variability in these effect sizes. Thirteen studies measuring insomnia symptoms and 10 studies measuring SDB met inclusion criteria and represented thousands of adult AAs and CAs. Results indicate AAs have a higher prevalence and greater severity of SDB, but CAs report more insomnia symptoms. These results indicate a need for a multi-ethnic approach to the assessment and treatment of sleep disorders.
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