The burden of untreated insomnia disorder in a sample of 1 million adults: a cohort study

Michael Grandner, Antonio Olivieri, Ajay Ahuja, Alexander Büsser, Moritz Freidank, William V. McCall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Insomnia disorder is a highly prevalent, significant public health concern associated with substantial and growing health burden. There are limited real-world data assessing the burden of insomnia disorder on daytime functioning and its association with comorbidities. The objective of this study was to leverage large-scale, real-world data to assess the burden of untreated insomnia disorder in terms of daytime impairment and clinical outcomes. Methods: This United States medical claims database study compares patients diagnosed with insomnia disorder but not receiving treatment (‘untreated insomnia’ cohort) to patients without an insomnia disorder diagnosis and without treatment (‘non-insomnia’ cohort). International Classification of Disease, Tenth Revision codes were used as a proxy to represent the three symptom domains (Sleepiness, Alert/Cognition, Mood) of the Insomnia Daytime Symptoms and Impacts Questionnaire (IDSIQ), a newly developed and validated tool used in clinical studies to assess daytime functioning in insomnia disorder. Chronic Fatigue (R53.83) and Other Fatigue (R53.83), Somnolence (R40.0) and Disorientation (R41.0) were selected as categories representing one or more IDSIQ domains. Clinical outcomes included cardiovascular events, psychiatric disorders, cognitive impairment and metabolic disorders. Results: Approximately 1 million patients were included (untreated insomnia: n = 139,959; non-insomnia: n = 836,975). Compared with the ‘non-insomnia’ cohort, the ‘untreated insomnia’ cohort was more likely to experience daytime impairments, with mean differences in occurrences per 100 patient-years for: (a) fatigue, at 27.35 (95% confidence interval [CI] 26.81, 27.77, p < 0.01); (b) dizziness, at 4.66 (95% CI 4.40, 4.90, p < 0.01); (c) somnolence, at 4.18 (95% CI 3.94, 4.43, p < 0.01); and (d) disorientation, at 0.92 (95% CI 0.77, 1.06, p < 0.01). During the 1-year look-back period, patients in the ‘untreated insomnia’ cohort were also more likely to have been diagnosed with arterial hypertension (40.9% vs. 26.3%), psychiatric comorbidities (40.1% vs. 13.2%), anxiety (29.2% vs. 8.5%), depression (26.1% vs. 8.1%) or obesity (21.3% vs. 11.1%) compared with those in the ‘non-insomnia’ cohort. Conclusions: This large-scale study confirms the substantial burden of insomnia disorder on patients in a real-world setting, with significant daytime impairment and numerous comorbidities. This reinforces the need for timely insomnia disorder diagnosis and treatments that improve both sleep, as well as daytime functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1481
JournalBMC public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cohort study
  • Daytime impairment
  • Insomnia disorder
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Real world
  • Respiratory disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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