Diabetes Type 2 – Sleep Duration can increase risk for developing Adult
Diabetes – Is Sleep Apnea the Culprit?
March 24th, 2006
recent study of 1,709 men from ages 40 – 70 years of age were found that
those that were not getting enough sleep or were getting too much sleep
had an increased risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. The optimal sleep
was found to be between 6 – 8 hours each night.
The study was a joint effort between researchers from the New England
Research Institutes and the Yale School of Medicine. The results were
first published in the March issue of Diabetes Care.
The 1,709 men were participants in a 15 year research project called the
Massachusetts Male Aging Study. Researchers made house calls, had
survey questionnaires and took blood samples over the 15 years of the
Based on the data collected, they found that the men that had between 6
– 8 hours were the healthiest. Men that said they slept between 5 – 6
hours per night on average have twice the risk of developing diabetes.
The men that slept more than 8 hours a night on average have three times
the risk of developing diabetes.
There was another study called the Nurses Health Study that showed
similar results for women. Getting the right amount of sleep for both
women and men are important.
"These elevated risks remained after adjustment for age, hypertension,
smoking status, self-rated health status and education," H. Klar Yaggi
M.D. who is the lead author of the study and is a professor in Yale's
Department of Internal Medicine, pulmonary section.
Researchers are beginning to understand the connection between metabolic
and endocrine function. It is not understood at this time why the
extended sleep increase the risk even more than a person that has a
shortage of sleep.
"There is a lot of interest in determining whether sleep disturbances
such as a reduced amount of sleep or disorders like sleep apnea may
actually worsen the metabolic syndrome," said Yaggi.
Being overweight puts a person at a higher risk for developing sleep
apnea. Sleep apnea has been linked to increased risks for developing
hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, mood changes, memory
problems, and possibly diabetes Type 2. Because of the lack of good
sleep it also puts a person with sleep apnea at a higher risk for
Sleep apnea can be treated with a CPAP machine which helps to prevent
the limited or blocked breathing. Lack of a good night sleep can make
the untreated sleep apnea person more tired, causing tiredness
throughout the day. A sleep study is conducted to determine the type of
sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common and also the
most responsive to the use of CPAP machine for treatment. Central sleep apnea is caused by the brain not
signaling a breathing response and is not as common.
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