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29-07-2012 | Diabetes | Article

Sleep related diabetes risk needs attention


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MedWire News: Strategies aimed at improving sleep quality among individuals without Type 2 diabetes may act as an additional tool in diabetes prevention, report researchers.

Study findings show that individuals who frequently report suffering from sleep apnea, insomnia, or daytime sleepiness, are significantly more insulin resistant than individuals who report less frequent or no sleep complaints.

The results come from an analysis of 442 women and 354 men, free of diabetes, who underwent an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and also rated their sleep complaints over the previous 3 months using the Basic Nordic Sleep Questionnaire.

As reported in Diabetes Care, people in the top quartile for such complaints had higher fasting insulin and glucose concentrations, and were more than twice as likely to have high homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), than those in the lower three quartiles.

Furthermore, the likelihood of being insulin resistant increased significantly and linearly according to the accumulation of co-occurring sleep complaints.

In an analysis excluding individuals with impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and/or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) this association was somewhat weakened but still significant, write Katri Raikkonen (University of Helsinki, Finland) and colleagues.

"These associations do not merely characterize individuals without diabetes who display abnormalities in insulin and glucose concentrations as a consequence of IFG and/or IGT but also appear to characterize individuals whose oral glucose tolerance test values fall within the normoglycemic range," they say.

Furthermore, the association still remained significant after adjustment for gender, age, body mass index, lifestyle, occupation, family history of diabetes, and depression.

"Our findings suggest that IR rather than deficiency in insulin secretion, is a characteristic of individuals reporting more frequent sleep complaints," conclude the researchers, who say that strategies focused on improved quality of sleep for such individuals may contribute to diabetes prevention.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Sally Robertson

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