The Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative (CPMC), a research initiative exploring the utility of genetic information in the clinical setting, has published a study and identified six noteworthy genes that affect human sleep duration.

Available in the American Journal of Medical Genetics: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, the paper, titled, “Using the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative Data to Conduct a Genome-Wide Association Study of Sleep Duration,” draws on data collected from Coriell study participants to establish its findings.

“The fundamental biological process of sleep is still not understood,” says Michael Christman, PhD, president and CEO of Coriell Institute, in a release. “But by engaging a diverse participant population and accumulating rich datasets, the CPMC research study is pursuing the type of insights that will help us learn more about sleep duration and, ultimately, improve human health.”

The focus of the CPMC paper was to identify the genes associated with sleep duration and validate the connection between sleep and several demographic and lifestyle factors, including age, gender, weight, ethnicity, exercise, smoking, and alcohol. Analysis implicated genes involved in ATP metabolism, circadian rhythms, narcolepsy, sleep cycles in mice, and bear hibernation.

“Researchers widely acknowledge that receiving inadequate sleep is a serious problem and can potentially contribute to a variety of health complications, such as a weakened immune system or an increased risk for obesity and diabetes,” says Laura Scheinfeldt, PhD, lead author on the paper and a research scientist at Coriell.

“Individuals who average six hours or less are more susceptible to adverse health issues, and we found that participants enrolled in the CPMC study vary greatly in the amount of sleep they receive,” says Scheinfeldt. “Effectively, by learning more about an individual’s sleep patterns and considering environmental and genetic risk factors, physicians may one day be able to identify risks before they occur and target health solutions.”

Founded in 2007, the CPMC research study involves a network of physicians, scientists, genetic counselors, and upwards of 8,500 volunteer participants. The study has produced more than 20 publications examining a range of complex human conditions, including cardiovascular disease, breast and lung cancer, and type I and II diabetes.

The Coriell study is committed to advancing the precision medicine discussion by aligning with progressive institutions, including the United States Air Force Medical Service, and sharing noteworthy data.