Pre-Diabetes Risk Increased By Lack of Sleep

Jun 5, 2009 by

Pre-Diabetes Risk Increased By Lack of Sleep

Did you have a good rest last night? Do you sleep well, and do you sleep enough?

It really does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that a lack of quality sleep is detrimental to our state of health. The following article highlights a link between lack of sleep and pre-diabetes.

Lack of Sleep Linked to Pre-Diabetes

by Reuben Chow

One of the key but often underestimated elements of a healthy lifestyle is a sufficient amount of quality sleep. A recent piece of research presented at the American Heart Association’s 49th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention 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.

About Pre-diabetes and Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, before the onset of type 2 diabetes, people “almost always have pre-diabetes”. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease which most commonly afflicts middle-aged adults; pre-diabetes is a condition whereby a person’s levels of blood glucose are elevated above normal, but not quite high enough to be considered a case of full-blown diabetes. Recent research suggests that long-term adverse effects on the body, in particular to the cardiovascular and circulatory system, could already be underway during pre-diabetes.

The association estimates that there are about 57 million people in the United States with pre-diabetes – a staggering number indeed. And the situation is worsening, with more young people and adolescents developing pre-diabetes and diabetes.

Details of Study

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.

Findings of 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, that of mid-sleepers. Long-sleepers, on the other hand, showed no such effect.

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