Showing posts with label Whites. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Whites. Show all posts

Friday, June 3, 2011

NEW POLL: Belief in Economic Opportunity Unites Americans Across Ethnic/Racial Lines

Americans. Photo Credit: The Tree Hugger

3 Jun 2011 13:15 Africa/Lagos

NEW POLL: Belief in Economic Opportunity Unites Americans Across Ethnic/Racial Lines
Ninth Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll Examines Americans' Views of Economic Opportunity in a Time of Demographic Transformation

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2011

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In a rapidly diversifying America, whites and minorities share many common views about what it takes to succeed in today's economy and a cultural optimism about the progress America has made in expanding opportunity for people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds. However, they diverge in revealing ways about the role of government, the opportunities they see for the next generation, and the consequences of demographic change, according to poll results announced today by The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) and National Journal.

With the U.S. population projected to become "majority-minority" by 2042, the ninth quarterly Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll examined questions of economic opportunity and beliefs about the future of America across a spectrum of racial and ethnic groups.

The poll results show significant agreement about economic opportunity and the path to success in America. Most Americans believe the U.S. has made real progress on economic opportunity, with 55% saying the country is doing a better job now at creating equal opportunity across ethnic and racial lines than when they were younger. By a 2-1 margin, Americans believe that our free market economy is successful at creating more opportunity than problems. Across all backgrounds, education was considered the most important factor for success in America, followed by the state of the economy and an individual's own skills, while only 2% of respondents believed it was a person's racial or ethnic background.

The results also show that Americans of all backgrounds believe that economic divides between rich and poor are the most significant contributor to disagreements on important issues – a greater wedge than ethnic, racial, or cultural divides.

"Our survey uncovers that a more diverse America is a more hopeful America – one that sees opportunities available to all, regardless of race or ethnic background," said Thomas J. Wilson , Allstate chairman, president and chief executive officer. "This optimism in the American dream is further illustrated by the belief that education, individual initiative and hard work are the keys to success. The poll reveals there is common ground as we work to harness the power of our diverse nation to make us all stronger and more successful. Americans of all backgrounds believe disagreements in this country on important issues are driven more by income differences than any other difference, including ethnic or cultural divides."

However, the survey points out notable divides in three areas: Americans' opinions on the role of government in fostering economic opportunity, the opportunities they foresee for the next generation, and the potential costs and benefits of the demographic change sweeping America. While a plurality of white respondents (42%) said they believe "government is the problem" for our economic environment, only 25% of Hispanics, 17% of African-Americans, and 16% of Asians hold that view. There is a significant partisan divide here as well, with 58% of Republicans saying government is the problem, compared to 36% of independents and 18% of Democrats.

Despite optimism about their own opportunities, a large majority of Americans are concerned for the next generation, with only 33% saying they believe today's children will have more opportunity to get ahead. Whites (24%) and Asians (37%) are significantly less likely to be optimistic for today's children, while African-Americans (57%) and Hispanics (56%) are more hopeful.

"This poll offers many reasons for optimism that more diversity in America is not guaranteed to produce greater division, but it also underscores the risk that racial and ethnic divisions could reinforce the ideological and partisan splits we're already experiencing," said Ronald Brownstein , Editorial Director of National Journal Group.

Key findings from the ninth Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll (PDF) include:

1) Americans share optimism about opportunity for themselves and the progress America has made on equal opportunity for all people. They are less optimistic for the next generation, and there are considerable differences by race and ethnicity.

* Most Americans believe they have about the same or more opportunity to get ahead than their parents had, with 44% saying they have more opportunity, 24% saying it's about the same, and 29% saying they have less opportunity.
o African-Americans (69% see more opportunity), Hispanics (62%), and Asians (67%) are particularly optimistic about their opportunities compared to their parents.
o White Americans are less optimistic, with only 36% saying they have more opportunity than their parents did.
* Most Americans (55%) believe the country is providing more opportunity for people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds than when they were younger, while 30% say it is about the same, and only 14% say it is providing less.
* Americans are less optimistic about opportunities for the next generation, with only 33% believing that today's children will have more opportunity to get ahead. This continues a pattern from previous Heartland Monitor polls.
o African-Americans (57% see more opportunity) and Hispanics (56%) are more optimistic for the next generation than are Asians (37%) and whites (24%).
* When asked to choose the most important factor in determining a person's ability to get ahead, Americans cite education most often (39%), followed by the state of the economy (23%), a person's own skills (22%), and a person's income level (9%). Only 2% of respondents chose a person's ethnic or racial background as the most important factor.
o Hispanics (53% education) and African-Americans (51%) were most likely to choose education, while whites were more closely divided between education (34%), economic conditions (28%), and a person's own skills (23%).

2) Americans of all backgrounds believe that the country's free market system works to create opportunity. Views on the role of government are more divergent, and show division along racial and ethnic lines, as well as partisan ones.

* A strong majority of Americans express support for the free market economy, with 62% who say that, left to itself, the free market creates more opportunities than problems, while just 32% believe that it creates more problems than opportunities.
o Whites (63%-31%), Hispanics (61%-30%) and Asians (61%-28%) are consistent in this belief, while African-Americans (49%-43%) are more split.
o Partisan differences are more dramatic, between Republicans (79% more opportunities than problems), independents (59%), and Democrats (52%).
* On the role of government in the economy, Americans are split among those who believe that "government is the problem" (36%), those who believe government should play an active role in the economy but are skeptical about its effectiveness (34%), and those who believe the government must play an active role (27%).
o A plurality of whites (42%) say government is the problem, compared to only 25% of Hispanics, 17% of African-Americans, and 16% of Asians.
o People of color are more likely to unreservedly endorse an active role, including 42% of African-Americans, 37% of Hispanics, and 36% of Asians.
o Partisan differences also show up dramatically, with 58% of Republicans saying government is the problem, compared to 36% of independents and only 18% of Democrats. White Republicans (64%) are especially wary.
* When asked which institution in society does the most to improve their lives, 31% of Americans say small businesses, 22% say community and nonprofit organizations, 14% say the government, 12% say big companies and 12% say religious institutions.
o African-Americans (22%), Hispanics (22%), and Asians (23%) are twice as likely as whites (11%) to say government does the most.

3) Americans of all backgrounds believe disagreements in this country on important issues are driven more by income differences than any other difference, including ethnic or cultural divides.

* Across all racial and ethnic lines, economic differences between rich and poor were consistently rated more important than political, cultural, generational, ethnic and racial, or religious differences as a factor contributing to Americans' disagreements about important issues. A total of 57% rated economic differences at the high end of the scale, indicating they contribute "a great deal" to disagreements about important issues, while fewer than 46% assigned the same importance to cultural, ethnic/racial, generational or religious differences. The only factor that approached economic differences in importance was political differences, rated at the high end of the scale by 51% of respondents.
* Hispanics rated cultural differences between native-born Americans and immigrants more important than other groups (57% chose the high end of the scale, versus 45% for all groups combined). African-Americans rated ethnic and racial differences more important than other groups (54% chose the high end of the scale, versus 35% for all groups). However, both Hispanics and African-Americans still rated those two factors well below economic differences in importance.

4) Americans are deeply ambivalent about the rapidly changing demographic face of the country and its impact on American culture and politics.

* When informed that the U.S. is expected to have a "majority-minority" population by 2042, a full 50% of Americans agreed with the idea that the demographic trends are troubling because the population change is happening too quickly and changing the character and values of the U.S. during a time of economic crisis.
o Majorities of whites (53%) and African-Americans (51%) took this position.
o Among whites, older (56%), less-educated (58%), lower-income (56%), and Republican (59%) respondents were most likely to hold this view.
o Among African-Americans, younger (55%), less-educated (56%) and lower-income (56%) respondents were most likely to hold this view.
* The alternative view – that the trends reflect a positive American tradition of welcoming all backgrounds and that immigrant and minority populations contribute to America's position as the world's largest economy – was agreed with by 42% of respondents, including 60% of Hispanics and 62% of Asians.
* A majority of Americans believe increased diversity will lead to both more racial tolerance (85%) and more racial tension (67%), as well as more success for minority-owned businesses (84%), more income inequality (64%), fewer skilled workers (62%), and fewer people upholding America's cultural heritage (63%).
* While 41% of Americans overall say racial and ethnic minorities have about the right amount of influence in the political process, people of color widely agree that they have too little, including 60% of African-Americans, 51% of Hispanics, and 53% of Asians.

5) Americans remain pessimistic about the direction of the country, but President Obama's approval rating has improved slightly since the last poll. Opinions of the President and the country's direction show sharp racial and ethnic divides.

* Americans are still pessimistic about the direction of the country, with 58% saying it is on the wrong track, down only slightly from 60% in the March 2011 Heartland Monitor poll.
o While 66% of whites say the country is on the wrong track, 57% of African-Americans say it is headed in the right direction.
* President Obama's approval (50%) and disapproval (42%) numbers have improved slightly since March, when they were 49%-44%.
o Whites (43% approve) are much less likely to approve of the president's job performance than Hispanics (65%), Asians (70%), or African-Americans (90%).
o Whites (34% Obama, 54% someone else) are the only group who would not vote to re-elect President Obama today. Obama wins with Asians (49%-25%), Hispanics (52%-36%), and African-Americans (89%-5%).
* Ethnic and racial minorities are also much more likely to believe the country's economy will improve over the next 12 months, including 86% of African-Americans, 80% of Asians, and 74% of Hispanics, compared to just 54% of whites.

Notes to Editors

Survey Methodology

A nationally representative survey of American adults conducted May 18-23, 2011, among N=1,427 American adults age 18+. Respondents were reached via landline and cell phone. The survey included extra interviews in order to reach a significant number of African-Americans (N=305), Hispanics (N=304 total interviews), and Asians (N=110). Hispanic respondents were given the option to take the survey in English or Spanish.

The data for the total American public represents all interviews conducted, weighted to N=1,000 interviews to match the demographic profile and geographic distribution of the country. For purposes of this analysis, "white" adults refers to non-Hispanic whites, while "African-American/Black" adults refers to non-Hispanic African-American/Blacks. "Hispanics" self-identified as being of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish descent, regardless of racial background.

About Allstate

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer known for its "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®" slogan. Now celebrating its 80th anniversary as an insurer, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help nearly 16 million households insure what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Consumers access Allstate insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, as well as via and 1-800 Allstate®. For an overview of the other Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Polls, visit Additional information is available at

About National Journal Group

Since 1969, National Journal Group has provided insight for insiders through nonpartisan reporting on current political and policy issues as well as tools professionals need to do their jobs well. National Journal Group properties include National Journal, National Journal Daily,, The Hotline, The Almanac of American Politics and Global Security Newswire.

About FD

One of the most highly regarded consultancies in the communications industry, FD employs more than 750 staff and advises more than 1,000 clients worldwide through its hub offices in London and New York, as well as its network of wholly owned offices in Bahrain, Beijing, Bogota, Boston, Brussels, Cape Town, Chicago, Dubai, Dublin, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Manchester, Melbourne, Moscow, Panama City, Paris, San Francisco, Shanghai, Sydney and Washington, DC. With a 20-year history of advising clients in both the private and public sectors, FD's services include financial public relations, capital markets communications, public affairs, crisis and issues management and corporate, business-to-business and business-to-consumer communications. FD is also a market leader in M&A advisory work. FD is structured around specialist sector teams operating on an international basis, covering consumer industries, financial services, basic industries, business services, life sciences & healthcare, media, real estate, technology and telecommunications. FD is a division of FTI Consulting Inc. (NYSE: FCN), the global business advisory firm. For more information, please visit

SOURCE The Allstate Corporation

CONTACT: Media Inquiries: Jennifer Williams, Associate of FD, +1-212-850-5775,; or Taylor West, Communications Director of National Journal Group, +1-202-266-7756,

Web Site:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Report Says Hispanics Are One and One-Half Times More Likely to Have Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Than Whites

9 Mar 2010 06:01 Africa/Lagos

New Report Says Hispanics Are One and One-Half Times More Likely to Have Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Than Whites

WASHINGTON, March 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to the Alzheimer's Association's® 2010 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures, Hispanics are about one and one-half times more likely than whites to have Alzheimer's and other dementias. The report also indicates African-Americans are about two times more likely than their white counterparts to have Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Although whites make up the great majority of the more than five million people with Alzheimer's and other dementias, Hispanics and African-Americans are at higher risk for developing the disease.

There are no known genetic factors that can explain the greater prevalence of Alzheimer's and other dementias in Hispanics and African-Americans than in whites. On the other hand, high blood pressure and diabetes, which are known risk factors for Alzheimer's and other dementias in all groups, are more common in Hispanics and African-Americans than in whites. Socioeconomic factors, such as having a low level of education and low income are also associated with greater risk for Alzheimer's and other dementias in all groups. Data from a federal survey of older Americans shows that African-Americans and Hispanics are disproportionately represented among socioeconomically disadvantaged people in this country. The Association's new report points out that these health and socioeconomic factors probably contribute to the greater prevalence of Alzheimer's and dementia in Hispanics and African-Americans.

"Alzheimer's disease is the single largest, looming unaddressed public health threat facing the nation, but we now know the threat is even more substantial in the Hispanic and African-American communities," said Harry Johns, Alzheimer's Association President and CEO. "These groups are more likely to have Alzheimer's, less likely to know it and, as a result, less likely to receive available treatments and supportive services that can help them cope with the disease."

Diabetes and high blood pressure are potentially modifiable conditions. Better management of these conditions could help to reduce the prevalence of Alzheimer's and other dementias, especially if treatment were begun in people who have these conditions in midlife. Since diabetes is more common in Hispanics than in whites and both diabetes and high blood pressure are more common in African-Americans than in whites, effective treatments for these potentially modifiable conditions can be especially beneficial for these groups.

Socioeconomic disparities, such as lower income, translate into reduced access to health care and therefore, reduced opportunities to avoid or better manage diabetes and high blood pressure that in turn increase Alzheimer risk.

Under diagnosis of Alzheimer's and Dementia in Hispanics and African-Americans

Although Hispanics and African-Americans are more likely than whites to have Alzheimer's and other dementias, the report reveals that Hispanics and African-Americans are less likely than whites to have a formal diagnosis of their condition. National data show that Hispanics and African-Americans with Alzheimer's and dementias are less likely than whites to report that a doctor has told them they have a "memory related disease" (45 percent of whites with Alzheimer's and dementias compared with 34 percent of Hispanics and 33 percent of African-Americans with these conditions).

Although family members and others may notice early symptoms of possible Alzheimer's disease or other dementias, there are often long delays between this first recognition of symptoms and the scheduling of a medical evaluation. The resulting delays in diagnosis mean that Hispanics and African Americans are not getting treatment in the earlier stages of the disease, when the available treatments are more likely to be effective and do not have an opportunity to make legal, financial and care plans while they are still capable.

"The Association is committed to increasing awareness about risk factors for Alzheimer's and other dementias among all Americans," said Johns. "Greater understanding about the importance of proper management of diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes will allow individuals to make more informed health care decisions and adopt healthy life style behaviors that can also help to reduce Alzheimer and dementia risk."

Growing Impact of Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

According to the report, there are 5.3 million Americans living with the disease and every 70 seconds someone in America develops Alzheimer's disease. By mid-century someone will develop Alzheimer's every 33 seconds. In 2010, there will be a half million new cases of Alzheimer's, and there will be more new cases in each subsequent year. In 2050, there will be nearly a million new cases.

Alzheimer's was the seventh leading cause of death in the country in 2006, the latest year for which final death statistics are available. It was the fifth leading cause of death among individuals 65 and older. From 2000-2006 death rates have declined for most major diseases - heart disease (-11.1 percent), breast cancer (-2.6 percent), prostate cancer (-8.7 percent), stroke (-18.2 percent) and HIV/AIDS (-16.3) while Alzheimer's disease deaths rose 46.1 percent.

"Strategic investments in research for diseases such as heart disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, stroke and HIV/AIDS have all resulted in declines in deaths. We have not seen the same type of significant strategic investment in Alzheimer's and because of that, deaths from Alzheimer's disease continues to soar," said Johns. "Discovering effective treatments that prevent onset or delay disease progression takes on an all encompassing urgency as the nation braces for an onslaught of aging baby boomers. This disease, unlike any other, has the power to undermine all of our best efforts to control health care costs."

People with Alzheimer's and other dementias are high users of hospital, nursing home and other health and long term care services, translating into high costs for all payers. The Alzheimer's Association estimates that total payments for health and long-term care services for people with these conditions will amount to $172 billion from all sources in 2010. Medicare costs are almost three times higher for people with Alzheimer's and other dementias than for other older people, and Medicaid costs are almost nine times higher. Most people with Alzheimer's also have one or more additional serious medical conditions, such as diabetes or coronary heart disease. Their Alzheimer's greatly complicates medical management for these other conditions, resulting in more hospitalizations and higher costs.

Impact of Alzheimer's and Dementia on Caregivers

According to the new report, in 2009, nearly 11 million family members and other unpaid caregivers provided 12.5 billion hours of care for people with Alzheimer's and other dementias, an amount of unpaid care valued at $144 billion. In fact, Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers provided care valued at more than $1 billion in each of 36 states, and nine states saw an Alzheimer and dementia caregiver contribution valued at $5 billion or more per state.

"Alzheimer's disease often progresses in a slow, unrelenting pace exacting a tremendous emotional, physical and financial toll on caregivers. Every day these caregivers rise to meet the challenges of Alzheimer's," said Robert J. Egge, Alzheimer's Association Vice President of Public Policy. "The uncompensated care they provide is valued at $144 billion, which is more than the Federal government spends on Medicare and Medicaid combined for people with Alzheimer's and other dementias."

More than 40 percent of family and other unpaid Alzheimer and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high, compared with 28 percent of caregivers of other older people. Caregivers often report a decline in their own health as they try to balance the demands of caregiving with their own work responsibilities. In 2009, 60 percent of Alzheimer and dementia caregivers were employed full-time or part-time and among those employed, two-thirds said they had to go in late, leave early or take time off because of caregiving; 14 percent had to take a leave of absence and 10 percent had to reduce their hours or take a less demanding job. Juggling the demands of caregiving, particularly in these financially difficult times, has placed additional stress on caregivers as their caregiving duties threaten their own job security.

Ultimately solving the Alzheimer crisis - with its far-reaching impact on families, Medicare, Medicaid and the health care system - will mean addressing the chronic underinvestment in research. A rapidly aging population and dramatic increases in the number of Alzheimer cases in coming years should catapult the government into action. "We know what the future will bring if we do nothing - more lives lost, overloaded nursing homes, overworked caregivers and an overwhelmed health care system," said Egge. "Our country must increase our investment in research and scientific innovation if we hope to soon live in a world together with Alzheimer survivors."

The full text of the Alzheimer's Association's 2010 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures can be viewed at after the embargo lifts. The full report will also appear in the March 2010 issue of Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association (volume 6, issue 2).

Alzheimer's Association's Facts and Figures

The Alzheimer's Association's Facts and Figures report is a comprehensive compilation of national statistics and information on Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. The report conveys the impact of Alzheimer's on individuals, families, government, and the nation's health care system. Since its 2007 inaugural release, the report has become the most cited source covering the broad spectrum of Alzheimer issues. The Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report is an official publication of the Alzheimer's Association®.

Alzheimer's Association

The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's.

Source: Alzheimer's Association

CONTACT: Toni Williams of Alzheimer's Association, +1-202-638-8666;, or Alzheimer's Association media line, +1-312-335-4078

Web Site:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Blacks Do Not Sleep Like Whites

Photo Credit: NY Daily News

2 Mar 2010 13:00 Africa/Lagos

Poll Reveals Sleep Differences among Ethnic Groups


National Sleep Foundation's Annual Sleep in America Poll Explores Sleep Issues among Asians, Blacks/African-Americans, Hispanics and Whites

Photo Credit:

The 2010 Sleep in America poll released today by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) reveals significant differences in the sleep habits and attitudes of Asians, Blacks/African-Americans, Hispanics and Whites. It is the first poll to examine sleep among these four ethnic groups.

NSF's Sleep in America poll found that more than three-fourths of respondents from each ethnic group agree that poor sleep is associated with health problems (76-83%). These new findings echo lessons learned by former President Bill Clinton who recently admitted that he has adopted a new lifestyle regimen to sleep seven or more hours on the advice of his doctors.

The poll also shows that all groups report disturbingly similar experiences missing work or family functions because they were too sleepy (19-24%). Among married people or couples living together, all ethnic groups report being too tired for sex frequently (21- 26% of the time).

"As the leading voice of sleep health, we are committed to better understanding people's sleep needs," says David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation. "By exploring ethnic and family sleep practices we have gained new insight into why we sleep the way we do."

Blacks/African-Americans report the busiest bedtime routines

Blacks/African-Americans are the most likely to report performing activities in the hour before going to bed every night or almost every night, specifically watching TV (75%) and/or praying or doing another religious practice (71%). Whether on weekdays/workdays or non-workdays/weekends, Blacks/African-Americans spend much more time in bed without sleeping than the other ethnic groups (54 minutes on weekdays/workdays and 71 minutes on non-workdays/weekends).

-- Blacks/African-Americans and Hispanics (10% each) are ten times more
likely to report having sex every night than Asians (1%) and 2.5 times
more likely than Whites (4%).
-- Most Blacks/African-Americans report praying every night (71%); more
than four times the reported frequency of Asians (18%), twice the rate
of Whites (32%) and 1.5 times the rate of Hispanics (45%).
-- Blacks/African-Americans (17%) and Asians (16%) are more likely than
Whites (9%) and Hispanics (13%) to report doing job-related work in
the hour before bed, among those employed.
-- Blacks/African-Americans report losing sleep every night over personal
financial concerns (12%) and employment concerns (10%) at a higher
rate than Whites (6% and 7%) or Asians (1% and 4%). Hispanics are
almost equally concerned each night about these two issues (11% and
9%, respectively).

"The hour before bed is an important time to relax and wind-down before going to sleep," says Thomas J. Balkin, Ph.D., Chairman of the National Sleep Foundation. "For those who are having problems sleeping, it's a good idea to consider whether your bedtime routines may be too alerting."

Asians report getting the best sleep, report the least amount of sleep problems and infrequent use of sleep aids

Asians are the most likely ethnic group (84%) to say that they had a good night's sleep at least a few nights or more a week. In addition, Asians are about half as likely (14%) to discuss their sleep issues with a healthcare professional, and are half as likely (10%) to report having been diagnosed with a sleep disorder. Asians are the least likely to report using sleep medication at least a few nights a week (5% versus 13% Whites, 9% Blacks/African-Americans and 8% Hispanics).

-- Asians are the least likely (9%) to say that they "rarely" or "never"
have a good night's sleep, compared with 20% of Whites, 18% of
Blacks/African-Americans and 14% of Hispanics.
-- The poll shows that Asians are more than twice as likely to use the
Internet every night in comparison to any other group (51% versus 22%
Whites, 20% Blacks/African-Americans, 20% Hispanics). They are also
the least likely to watch TV an hour before sleep (52% versus 64%
Whites, 72% Hispanics and 75% Blacks/African-Americans).
-- Asians report the use of herbal and alternative therapies at rates
similar to Hispanics (2% each), but less than Whites (4%).
-- Asians report the lowest rates of losing sleep due to personal
financial concerns at least a few nights a week (9% versus 22%
Hispanics, 20% Whites and 19% Blacks/African-Americans).

While Blacks/African-Americans report the least amount of sleep, they also say they need less sleep

Blacks/African-Americans report getting the least amount of sleep on workdays/weekdays (6 hours and 14 minutes). Interestingly, they also say that they need only 7 hours and 5 minutes of sleep each night to perform at their best during the day, which is significantly less sleep than Asians and Hispanics (7 hours and 29 minutes each).

-- Blacks/African-Americans report getting an average of 34 minutes less
sleep on a work night/weeknight than Asians and 38 minutes less than

"The finding that Blacks/African-Americans say they need less sleep and get less sleep is instructive for public health professionals," says Jose S. Loredo, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. "Their total sleep time and attitudes regarding sleep may be associated with Blacks/African-Americans' higher rates of sleep apnea, hypertension and diabetes and provide sleep-related insight into how to improve awareness and education programs and, very importantly, how to improve therapy compliance rates."

Hispanics are the most likely to say they are kept awake by financial, employment, personal relationship and/or health-related concerns

Overall, at least one-third of Hispanics (38%) and Blacks/African-Americans (33%) report that any of these concerns disturb their sleep at least a few nights a week, compared to about one-fourth of Whites (28%) and/or Asians (25%).

-- Moreover, about two in ten Hispanics (19%) and
Blacks/African-Americans (19%) say their sleep is disturbed every
night or almost every night by at least one of these concerns.
-- Hispanics (16%) are more likely than Blacks/African-Americans (12%),
Asians (9%) and Whites (7%) to say that health-related concerns have
disturbed their sleep at least a few nights a week.

"So many people are suffering because of economic uncertainty," says Martica Hall, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. "If you find yourself lying awake worrying, write a note to yourself to work on these issues the next day so you can dismiss those ideas at bed time. Consider using relaxation techniques and focus on calming activities and thoughts. If your problems persist, you may want to seek out a sleep professional."

Whites are the most likely to report sleeping with their pets and/or their significant other/spouse

Among those married or partnered, Whites are much more likely (14%) than the other ethnic groups (2% each) to say they usually sleep with a pet.

-- Among those married or partnered, 90% of Whites report that they sleep
with their significant other compared to 84% of
Blacks/African-Americans, 76% of Hispanics and 67% of Asians.
-- Interestingly, among all respondents, Whites are the least likely to
say they sleep alone (21% versus 41% Blacks/African-Americans, 37%
Asians and 31% Hispanics).

Among those married or partnered respondents with children, Asians (28%) and Hispanics (22%) are the most likely to report that they sleep in the same room with their children (compared to 15% of Blacks/African-Americans and 8% of Whites).*

"Other studies support the findings that co-sleeping with children is prevalent with Asians," says Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Ph.D., chair of the National Sleep Foundation's Sleep in America Poll Task Force. "If you are having trouble sleeping, and you sleep with your spouse, your child, your pet or all three, remember that may be contributing to sleep disturbances that prevent you from getting a good night's sleep."

*Bed sharing/co-sleeping is a complex and controversial practice. This study did not specifically examine the issue of sleeping with infants, nor does the National Sleep Foundation wish to have these results misconstrued to suggest a position on the practice. Parental counseling about infant sleep environments is strongly suggested.

Sleep disorder diagnosis is uneven among the four ethnic groups.

The 2010 poll found that sleep disorders continue to be very common among the adults surveyed, with specific disorders occurring at different frequency among the four groups.

-- Whites report the highest rate of diagnosis for insomnia (10%), and
Blacks/African-Americans have the highest rate of diagnosed sleep
apnea (14%) among the four groups.
-- Among those experiencing sleep problems, Whites are the most likely to
report using over-the-counter sleep aids at least a few nights a week
(7%). Blacks/African-Americans are almost twice as likely to report
taking medications prescribed by a doctor (7%) rather than
over-the-counter sleep aids (3%). Asians are the least likely to
report using any form of sleep medication (5%).

"If you are experiencing problems sleeping," says Balkin, "take charge of your own sleep. You should critically examine your bedtime routines and pre-sleep activities and make time to ensure your bedroom is conducive to your sleep comfort. You will spend approximately a third of your life in bed, so it's worth it to take time to make sure your bed and bedtime routine are right for you. If you continue having problems sleeping for more than a few weeks, it's advisable to speak with your healthcare professional."

Ethnic groups seek help for sleep problems differently

When experiencing a specific sleep problem, Blacks/African-Americans say they are more likely to speak with their doctor (16%) or research online (10%) than to get recommendations from friends or family (4%).

-- Asians (15%) are the most likely to say they get advice from family
and friends.
-- Respondents were also asked if their healthcare professional or doctor
had ever asked them about their sleep during a routine visit. At least
four in ten Whites (48%), Blacks/African-Americans (42%) and Hispanics
(40%) say yes; however, only 28% of Asians had been asked about sleep
by their doctor.

"We are making progress with physicians and patients discussing sleep issues in regular office visits," says Cloud. "But we still have a lot of work to do to make sleep a routine part of every physician-patient interaction."

Adds David G. Davila, MD, Medical Director of the Baptist Health Sleep Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, "Sleep is a vital sign for overall health, therefore, discussing sleep problems should be an important part of health check ups for doctors and patients, especially since sleep disorders can affect many other medical conditions."

For the most comprehensive source of information on sleep health, visit the National Sleep Foundation's website, The website also provides a directory of sleep professionals and sleep centers in your community. You can also read the complete "Summary of Findings" and "Highlights" from this year's Sleep in America poll and polls from prior years.

Healthy Sleep Advice

The National Sleep Foundation suggests the following to improve your sleep:

-- Go to sleep and wake at the same time every day, and avoid spending
more time in bed than needed.
-- Use bright light to help manage your "body clock." Avoid bright light
in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning.
-- Use your bedroom only for sleep to strengthen the association between
your bed and sleep. It may help to remove work materials, computers
and televisions from your bedroom.
-- Select a relaxing bedtime ritual, like a warm bath or listening to
calming music.
-- Create an environment that is conducive to sleep that is quiet, dark
and cool with a comfortable mattress and pillows.
-- Reduce or eliminate your intake of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.
-- Save your worries for the daytime. If concerns come to mind, write
them in a "worry book" so you can address those issues the next day.
-- If you can't sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing
until you feel tired.
-- Exercise regularly, but avoid vigorous workouts close to bedtime.

Poll Methodology and Definitions

The National Sleep Foundation began surveying American sleep health and behaviors in 1991. The 2010 Sleep in America annual poll was conducted for the National Sleep Foundation by WB&A Market Research, using a random sample of 1,007 adults between the ages of 25-60 and identifying themselves as White, Black/African-American, Asian or Hispanic. This poll has adopted the group definition used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Census Bureau, and related public health groups; while NSF also acknowledges that this is an imperfect description of race and ethnic groups. No effort was made to verify the accuracy of the respondent's self-identification. Individuals from other ethnic groups were excluded from participating. The Sleep in America Poll Task Force did consider economic factors in analyzing the data. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

2010 Sleep in America Poll Task Force
Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Ph.D. (Chair)
Professor of Psychiatry
Director, Gillin Sleep and Chronomedicine Research Center
Department of Psychiatry
University of California, San Diego

Daniel P. Chapman, Ph.D.
National Center for Chronic Disease
Prevention & Health Promotion
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Martica Hall, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh

Kenneth L. Lichstein, Ph.D.
Director, Sleep Research Project
Department of Psychology
The University of Alabama

Jose S. Loredo, M.D., M.S., M.P.H., F.C.C.P.
Professor of Medicine
Medical Director, Sleep Medicine Center
University of California, San Diego

NSF released the poll findings as part of its 13th annual National Sleep Awareness Week® campaign, held March 7-13, 2010, that culminates with the change to Daylight Saving Time on March 14th. With the change of clocks, NSF wishes to remind Americans that losing sleep is an important health consideration.

The National Sleep Foundation hosts the Sleep Health and Safety conference March 5-6, 2010 in Washington to advance sleep health education for health professionals and public policy leaders.

NSF Background

The National Sleep Foundation is dedicated to improving sleep health and safety through education, public awareness, and advocacy. It is well-known for its annual Sleep in America poll. The Foundation is a charitable, educational and scientific not-for-profit organization located in Washington, D.C. Its membership includes researchers and clinicians focused on sleep medicine, professionals in the health, medical and science fields, individuals, patients, families affected by drowsy driving and more than 900 healthcare facilities throughout North America.

The National Sleep Foundation does not solicit nor accept corporate support for its annual Sleep in America polls; its polls are developed by an independent task force of sleep scientists and government representatives who provide guidance and expertise in developing the poll questionnaire as well as providing the analysis of the data.

Information about the National Sleep Foundation, the current and former polls and a database of sleep professionals and sleep centers who can be contacted to comment on this story or refer patients to be interviewed can be found online at

CONTACT: Jennifer Cowher Williams of the National Sleep Foundation, +1-202-347-3471 ext. 211,

/PRNewswire-USNewswire -- March 2/

Source: National Sleep Foundation

Web Site: National Sleep Foundation

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