Long And Short Sleep Durations are Associated with Increased Risk for Diabetes

June 2009 - According to a research abstract presented on Monday, June 8, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, both long and short sleepers are at greater risk for diabetes. Individuals sleeping for more than eight hours per night may be particularly vulnerable.

Results indicate that the adjusted odds ratio was 1.24 for diabetes associated with short sleep (five hours per night or less) and 1.48 for diabetes associated with long sleep (nine or more hours per night). The prevalence of diabetes was 12 percent for blacks and 8 percent for whites, and the prevalence of obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or greater) was 52 percent for blacks and 38 percent for whites.

According to lead author Girardin Jean-Louis, PhD, associate professor at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center at the Brooklyn Health Disparities Research Center in New York, findings suggest that both patients who have excessive or insufficient sleep time have increased risk for developing diabetes, a serious health condition.

"Both blacks and whites who were obese tended to have short sleep time. These findings suggest that race significantly influenced the risk of obesity conferred by short sleep duration," said Jean-Louis. "As obesity is associated with diabetes and sleep apnea, it may be that more blacks are at risk for sleep apnea and diabetes, which are both linked to cardiovascular disease."

The study involved data from 29,818 individuals who completed the 2005 National Health Interview Survey, a cross-sectional household interview survey using multistage area probability and design. Data were collected from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Participants were between the ages of 18 and 85 years; 85 percent of the sample was white and 15 percent was black; 56 percent of participants were women.

The authors conclude that more research is needed to identify the factors that could explain the relationship between long sleep duration and diabetes.

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine