Sleep-deprivation linked to increased diabetes risk

If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter, you would know how you might feel the next day – cranky, groggy, and tired. It’s been known for years that lack of sleep is bad for your health, and not just in the short term. Study upon study have linked long term sleep deprivation to various diseases from chronic kidney disease to liver cancer to Alzheimer’s.

Now, a new study has shown that sleep-deprived adults with prediabetes are more likely to progress to type 2 diabetes.

The study, conducted by scientists at the Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, South Korea, analysed data from 17,983 young to middle-aged adults with prediabetes. The participants underwent assessments of sleep duration and quality. Over a period of 2 years, the scientists measured the indicators of diabetes (such as Hb1Ac, insulin, and blood glucose levels) in the patients.  

The researchers found that compared to prediabetics who slept for 7 hours or more each night, those who slept 5 hours or less were 68% more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes over the period of 2 years.

This association is independent of socioeconomic factors (such as education level, marital status) and lifestyle characteristics (such as smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity).

Given their findings, the researchers note that getting sufficient sleep should be included as a behaviour target in diabetes prevention programmes among people with prediabetes.


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About Rina Soetanto

Rina Soetanto is currently doing her PhD in molecular biology. She also has an extensive background in pharmacology and pre-clinical cancer research, as well as an undergraduate science degree from the Australian National University with a double major in neuroscience and immunology.

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