Ir­reg­u­lar sleep­ing pat­tern may put men at di­a­betes risk

The cross-sec­tional study ex­am­ined the sleep du­ra­tion and di­a­betes risk fac­tors in 788 peo­ple

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Sleep­ing ei­ther fewer or more hours than av­er­age may in­crease a man’s risk of de­vel­op­ing di­a­betes, ac­cord­ing to a new study. More than 29 mil­lion peo­ple na­tion­wide have di­a­betes, ac­cord­ing to the En­docrine So­ci­ety’s En­docrine Facts and Fig­ures Re­port. Dur­ing the last 50 years, the av­er­age self-re­ported sleep du­ra­tion for in­di­vid­u­als has de­creased by 1.5 to 2 hours, ac­cord­ing to se­nior au­thor, Femke Rut­ters. The preva­lence of di­a­betes has dou­bled in the same time pe­riod. “In a group of nearly 800 healthy peo­ple, we ob­served sex-spe­cific re­la­tion­ships be­tween sleep du­ra­tion and glu­cose me­tab­o­lism,” said Rut­ters. “In men, sleep­ing too much or too lit­tle was re­lated to less re­spon­sive­ness of the cells in the body to in­sulin, re­duc­ing glu­cose up­take and thus in­creas­ing the risk of de­vel­op­ing di­a­betes in the fu­ture. In women, no such as­so­ci­a­tion was ob­served.” The cross-sec­tional study ex­am­ined the sleep du­ra­tion and di­a­betes risk fac­tors in 788 peo­ple. The re­searchers an­a­lysed a sub­set of par­tic­i­pants in the Euro­pean Re­la­tion­ship be­tween In­sulin Sen­si­tiv­ity and Car­dio­vas­cu­lar Dis­ease (EGIR-RISC) study, who were healthy adults rang­ing in age from 30 to 60 years old. Study par­tic­i­pants were re­cruited from 19 study cen­ters in 14 Euro­pean coun­tries. The study found that men who slept the least and the most were more likely to have an im­paired abil­ity to process su­gar com­pared to men who slept an av­er­age amount, about seven hours. The men at ei­ther end of the spec­trum had higher blood su­gar lev­els than men who got the av­er­age amount of sleep. Women who slept less or more than av­er­age, how­ever, were more re­spon­sive to the hor­mone in­sulin than women who slept the av­er­age amount. They also had en­hanced func­tion of beta cells – the cells in the pan­creas that pro­duce the hor­mone in­sulin. This sug­gests lost sleep may not put women at in­creased risk of de­vel­op­ing di­a­betes. “Even when you are healthy, sleep­ing too much or too lit­tle can have detri­men­tal ef­fects on your health,” Rut­ters said. “This re­search shows how im­por­tant sleep is to a key as­pect of health – glu­cose me­tab­o­lism.” The study ap­pears in the Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal En­docrinol­ogy and Me­tab­o­lism.

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