Chronotype ontogeny related to gender

L. L. Duarte, L. Menna-Barreto, M. A.L. Miguel, F. Louzada, J. Araújo, M. Alam, R. Areas, M. Pedrazzoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Chronotype is an established concept designed to identify distinct phase relationships between the expression of circadian rhythms and external synchronizers in humans. Although it has been widely accepted that chronotype is subjected to ontogenetic modulation, there is no consensus on the interaction between age and gender. This study aimed to determine the relationship between age-and gender-related changes in the morningness-eveningness character in a large sample of people. A total of 14,650 volunteers were asked to complete the Brazilian version of the Horne and Ö stberg chronotype questionnaire. The data demonstrated that, on average, women were more morning-oriented than men until the age of 30 and there were no significant differences between men and women from 30 to 45 years of age. In contrast to the situation observed until the age of 30, women older than 45 years were more evening-oriented than men. These results suggest that the ontogenetic development of the circadian timekeeping system is more plastic in men, as represented by the larger amplitude of chronotype changes throughout their aging process. The phase delay of adolescence and phase advance of the elderly seem to be phenomena that are more markedly present in men than in women. Thus, our data, for the first time, provide support that sharply opposes the view that there is a single path toward morningness as a function of age, regardless of gender.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-320
Number of pages5
JournalBrazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

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