Impulsivity and genetic variants in DRD2 and ANKK1 moderate longitudinal associations between sleep problems and overweight from ages 5 to 11.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Short sleep duration and sleep problems increase risks of overweight and weight gain. Few previous studies have examined sleep and weight repeatedly over development. This study examined the associations between yearly reports of sleep problems and weight status from ages 5 to 11. Although, previous studies have shown that inter-individual differences moderate the effect of short sleep duration on weight, it is not known whether inter-individual differences also moderate the effect of sleep problems on weight. We tested how the longitudinal associations between sleep problems and weight status were moderated by impulsivity and genetic variants in DRD2 and ANKK1.


Seven-year longitudinal study.


A total of 567 children from the Child Development Project for the analysis with impulsivity and 363 for the analysis with genetic variants.

Measurements and results

Sleep problems and weight status were measured by mothers' reports yearly. Impulsivity was measured by teachers' reports yearly. Six single-nucleotide polymorphisms located in DRD2 and ANKK1 were genotyped. Data were analyzed using multilevel modeling. Higher average levels of sleep deprivation across years were associated with greater increases in overweight (P=0.0024). Sleep problems and overweight were associated at both within-person across time (P<0.0001) and between-person levels (P<0.0001). Impulsivity and two polymorphisms, rs1799978 and rs4245149 in DRD2, moderated the association between sleep problems and overweight; the association was stronger in children who were more impulsive (P=0.0022), in G allele carriers for rs1799978 (P=0.0007) and in A allele carriers for rs4245149 (P=0.0002).


This study provided incremental evidence for the influence of sleep problems on weight. Findings of DRD2, ANKK1 and impulsivity are novel; they suggest that reward sensitivity and self-regulatory abilities might modulate the influences of sleep on weight gain. The analysis of polymorphisms was restricted to European Americans and hence the results might not generalize to other populations.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chan, TWS; Bates, JE; Lansford, JE; Dodge, KA; Pettit, GS; Dick, DM; Latendresse, SJ

Published Date

  • March 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 38 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 404 - 410

PubMed ID

  • 23828101

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3875830

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1476-5497

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0307-0565

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/ijo.2013.123


  • eng