Wan‐Chin Kuo, Anne L. Ersig, Fatih Kunkul, Roger L. Brown, Linda Oakley, “Linking chronic stress to insomnia symptoms in older adults: The role of stress co‐occurrence during the pandemic”
Studies examining the associations of chronic stressors with sleep health in older adults have shown conflicting results. While the COVID‐19 pandemic increased perceived stress at the population level, less is known about chronic stressors experienced by older adults in the context of the COVID‐19 pandemic and its impact on sleep health in an aging population. This study aims to examine the association of older adults’ chronic stress with insomnia symptoms during the first year of the COVID‐19 pandemic. A cross‐sectional analysis was performed using early‐release COVID‐19 data from the Health and Retirement Study. Data on chronic stressors and insomnia symptoms in older adults (N = 2021; mean age = 68.8) were examined. Co‐occurrence network analysis, latent class analysis, Rao–Scott χ 2 tests, and multivariable logistic regression were used to characterize the co‐occurrence of chronic stressors and associations with insomnia symptoms. The most common co‐occurring chronic stressors during the first year of the COVID‐19 pandemic were self‐health issues, family‐health issues, and financial stress. Older adults experiencing frequent stress co‐occurrence had 91% higher odds of difficulty initiating sleep (p < 0.001), 40% higher odds of frequent nocturnal awakening (p = 0.028), and 83% higher odds of nonrestorative sleep (p < 0.001). However, adjustment for health risk factors and COVID‐19 concerns attenuated the effects, leaving strongest association for difficulty initiating sleep (odds ratio = 1.51, p = 0.010). Frequent stress co‐occurrence plays an important role linking chronic stress to insomnia symptoms in an aging population. Ongoing research is needed to examine the lingering effects of frequent stress co‐occurrence on older adults' sleep health in the post COVID‐19 era.
Elizabeth Fussell, Jack DeWaard, and Katherine Curtis, “Environmental migration as short- or long-term differences from a trend: A case study of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita effects on out-migration in the Gulf of Mexico”
An environmental event that damages housing and the built environment may result in either a short- or long-term out-migration response, depending on residents’ recovery decisions and hazard tolerance. If residents move only in the immediate disaster aftermath, then out-migration will be elevated only in the short-term. However, if disasters increase residents’ concerns about future risk, heighten vulnerability, or harm the local economy, then out-migration may be elevated for years after an event. The substantive aim of this research brief is to evaluate hypotheses about short- and long-term out-migration responses to the highly destructive 2005 hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico. The methodological aim is to demonstrate a difference-in-differences (DID) approach analysing time series data from Gulf Coast counties to compare short- and long-differences in out-migration probabilities in the treatment and control counties. We find a large short-term out-migration response and a smaller sustained increase for the disaster-affected coastal counties.