Cross-cultural and comparative epidemiology of insomnia: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD)

Ka Fai Chung, Wing Fai Yeung, Fiona Yan Yee Ho, Kam Ping Yung, Yee Man Yu, Chi Wa Kwok

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To compare the prevalence of insomnia according to symptoms, quantitative criteria, and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th and 5th Edition (DSM-IV and DSM-5), International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), and International Classification of Sleep Disorders, 2nd Edition (ICSD-2), and to compare the prevalence of insomnia disorder between Hong Kong and the United States by adopting a similar methodology used by the America Insomnia Survey (AIS). Methods: Population-based epidemiological survey respondents (n = 2011) completed the Brief Insomnia Questionnaire (BIQ), a validated scale generating DSM-IV, DSM-5, ICD-10, and ICSD-2 insomnia disorder. Results: The weighted prevalence of difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, waking up too early, and non-restorative sleep that occurred ≥3 days per week was 14.0%, 28.3%, 32.1%, and 39.9%, respectively. When quantitative criteria were included, the prevalence dropped the most from 39.9% to 8.4% for non-restorative sleep, and the least from 14.0% to 12.9% for difficulty falling asleep. The weighted prevalence of DSM-IV, ICD-10, ICSD-2, and any of the three insomnia disorders was 22.1%, 4.7%, 15.1%, and 22.1%, respectively; for DSM-5 insomnia disorder, it was 10.8%. Conclusion: Compared with 22.1%, 3.9%, and 14.7% for DSM-IV, ICD-10, and ICSD-2 in the AIS, cross-cultural difference in the prevalence of insomnia disorder is less than what is expected. The prevalence is reduced by half from DSM-IV to DSM-5. ICD-10 insomnia disorder has the lowest prevalence, perhaps because excessive concern and preoccupation, one of its diagnostic criteria, is not always present in people with insomnia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-482
Number of pages6
JournalSleep Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • DSM-5
  • ICD-10
  • ICSD-2
  • Insomnia
  • Prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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