Sleep on it: fitful slumber tied to diabetes risk.
Many people have brief bouts of interrupted breathing during the night that cause fluctuations in blood pressure and heart rate, decreased concentrations of oxygen in the blood, and other effects. Small studies have implicated im·pli·cate
tr.v. im·pli·cat·ed, im·pli·cat·ing, im·pli·cates
1. To involve or connect intimately or incriminatingly: evidence that implicates others in the plot.
2. this disturbed slumber, known as sleep apnea sleep apnea, episodes of interrupted breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is a common disorder in which relaxation of muscles in the throat repeatedly close off the airway during sleep; the person wakes just enough to take a gasping breath. , in the development of diabetes and other chronic diseases (SN: 7/14/01, p. 31).
Now, the results of a large study led by Naresh M. Punjabi of the Johns Hopkins Noun 1. Johns Hopkins - United States financier and philanthropist who left money to found the university and hospital that bear his name in Baltimore (1795-1873)
2. Medical Institutions link apnea with two conditions--glucose intolerance and impaired insulin function--that are associated with the onset of type 2 diabetes type 2 diabetes
See diabetes mellitus. . "We think the sleep problems are more likely contributing to glucose intolerance and diabetes instead of those conditions explaining the apnea," says coauthor Rachel Givelber of the University of Pittsburgh.
The findings, which appear in the Sept. 15 American Journal of Epidemiology, could have important implications for identifying and managing diabetes, says Givelber. "Based on this study," she says, "if you have glucose intolerance or diabetes, it might be wise to treat the sleep [apnea] because that may be contributing to the condition."
Sleep apnea, often accompanied by loud snoring snoring, rough, vibratory sounds made in breathing during sleep or coma. The noisy breathing is the result of an open mouth and a relaxation of the palate; it is frequently induced by lying on one's back. (SN: 3/11/00. p. 172), occurs because the airways airways Anatomy The 'pipes'–trachea, bronchi, bronchioles–through which air passes to and from the alveoli. See Small airways. narrow as the surrounding muscles relax during sleep.
In their investigation, the researchers analyzed data on 2,656 of the people who participated in the Sleep Heart Health Study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blond Institute in Bethesda, Md. That study was conducted from 1994 to 1999 in several U.S. cities to investigate possible cardiovascular consequences of sleep apnea. The study also acquired data on blond-glucose concentrations because diabetes is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease Cardiovascular disease
Disease that affects the heart and blood vessels.
Mentioned in: Lipoproteins Test
cardiovascular disease .
Data on breathing patterns, respiratory effort, number of arousals from sleep, body position, and blood-oxygen concentrations were recorded in each participant's home, then transferred to a central location for evaluation. Blood samples were obtained after overnight tasting to check glucose concentrations. Punjabi's team focused on the participants who were at least 40 years old and hadn't been previously diagnosed with diabetes.
The researchers used statistical methods to sidestep side·step
v. side·stepped, side·step·ping, side·steps
1. To step aside: sidestepped to make way for the runner.
2. any effects of age, gender, and weight. The team found that the people whose sleep was interrupted most frequently at night--15 times or more each hour--were most likely to show glucose intolerance and impaired insulin function. Those with no sleep apnea seldom showed those conditions. "We were able to show that, even accounting for overweight and body shape, people with high sleep apnea had more diabetes and glucose intolerance than we had expected," says Givelber.
The study "moves the field incrementally but importantly forward," says Paul E. Peppard, a sleep researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison “University of Wisconsin” redirects here. For other uses, see University of Wisconsin (disambiguation).
A public, land-grant institution, UW-Madison offers a wide spectrum of liberal arts studies, professional programs, and student activities. . "Other studies in this area haven't been so rigorously designed."