Position title: Professor Emerita, Population Health Sciences
Terry Young, PhD, is an epidemiologist with a specialty in sleep disorders. Dr. Young’s research focus is on the natural history of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. Of particular interest: the role of sleep apnea in cardiovascular and behavioral morbidity, development of sleep disorders with aging, genetic markers for sleep disorders, sleep disorders over the menopausal transition. This research is based on overnight in-laboratory sleep studies and other protocols conducted every four years on a large population-based cohort of men and women: the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort. This unique, NIH funded, ongoing cohort study, initiated by Dr. Young over 20 years ago, uncovered the high prevalence of unrecognized sleep apnea in adults. Her studies shown unrecognized sleep apnea in the general population to be associated with elevated blood pressure and other blood pressure abnormalities, motor vehicle accidents, quality of life, and increased mortality. Current work includes analyses of the longitudinal data being continuously collected to investigate changes in sleep apnea progression over time, the causal role of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders in health outcomes, and the development of sleep disorders in women over the midlife age span and menopausal transition. Other sleep disorders of interest include narcolepsy and chronic insomnia. Dr. Young also collaborates with molecular geneticists who identified the first human sleep gene (Clock), a gene that may influence circadian patterns. She has been a member of several task forces on sleep disorder nosology (including ICSD9 and ongoing revision for the DSM V). She is on the Executive Board of the UW Center for Sleep Research /WisconsinSleep.