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Short Sleepers Increase Risk of Diabetes by 356%

Posted: Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A recent piece of research has found that persons who get less than 6 hours of sleep each night have a higher risk of developing pre-diabetes.

One of the key but often underestimated elements of a healthy lifestyle is a sufficient amount of quality sleep. A recent piece of research has added to the wisdom of this age-old belief, having found that persons who get less than 6 hours of sleep each night have a higher risk of developing pre-diabetes, a condition characterized by impaired fasting glucose preceding an actual diagnosis of diabetes.

The study had been funded by the National Institutes of Health, and the study team had looked at the sleep and blood glucose data of 1,455 persons who were part of the Western New York Health Study. Sleep duration was self-reported, with the subjects categorized into long-sleepers (>8 hours per night), mid-sleepers (6 to 8 hours), and short-sleepers (<6 hours) based on their sleep duration during the work week.

The researchers identified 91 study subjects whose levels of fasting blood glucose had risen from less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) during baseline assessments (1996 to 2001) to between 100 mg/dL and 125 mg/dL when followed up on about 6 years later (2003 to 2004). These persons were compared with 273 persons whose blood glucose levels had remained stable during the period, with the two groups being matched for gender, ethnicity and year of commencing the study.

After factors such as body mass index, age, heart rate, high blood pressure, depression symptoms, glucose and insulin concentrations, as well as diabetes family history were accounted for, the study team discovered that short-sleepers had a significantly heightened risk of having impaired fasting glucose, a staggering 4.56 times, or a 356% increase, than that of mid-sleepers. Long-sleepers, on the other hand, showed no such effect.

Lisa Rafalson, PhD, a research assistant professor at the University at Buffalo in New York and the leader of the study, stated that "This study supports growing evidence of the association of inadequate sleep with adverse health issues. Sleep should be assessed in the clinical setting as part of well-care visits throughout the life cycle.

According to Rafalson, while previous research suggests that some genes may have a small effect on diabetes risk, "There is no known genetic predisposition to sleep disturbances that could explain our study's results." She also said that "It is more likely that pathways involving hormones and the nervous system are involved in the impaired-sleep/fasting glucose association."

Source: Diabetes In Control: "Short-sleepers" may develop blood sugar abnormality that can lead to diabetes http://americanheart.mediaroom.com/

 
 
 
 
 
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