A new analysis characterizes insomnia as a novel risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The researchers identified 19 risk factors altogether and rejected 21 possible risk factors based on inadequate scientific evidence.
According to the International Diabetes Federation ( IDF), in 2019 about 463 million adults worldwide lived with diabetes.
Diabetes is a disorder in which sugar or glucose remains in the bloodstream, rather than being absorbed into cells as it would in a healthy individual. This happens when cells either lose their ability to make the hormone insulin, or develop insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and are unable to use it productively.
Researchers have identified some factors that raise the risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the years. These potential risk factors include alcohol intake, breakfast skipping, daytime napping, anxiety disorders, urinary sodium, certain amino acids and inflammatory factors, and sleep deprivation.
A recent study published in the journal Diabetologia recognizes 19 type 2 diabetes risk factors. The researchers based in Sweden further assessed 21 risk factors that have scarce evidence, and another 15 that minimize the risk of the disease.
Data from the Diabetes Genetics Replication And Meta-analysis project were used by associate professor Susanna Larsson and Shuai Yuan of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm , Sweden. For the sample population the pair examined 74,124 Type 2 diabetes cases and 824,006 control subjects of European ancestry. Of the 97 factors which they examined, only 19 increased the risk of diabetes.
Insomnia has been described as a novel risk factor for people living with the disease, 17 percent more likely than those without it to develop type 2 diabetes
Speaking with Medical News Today, Larsson states, "Daytime napping often tends to be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. But, as it is closely linked to insomnia, it's unclear if daytime napping is an independent risk factor for type 2 diabetes."
"It is important to stress that obesity remains the leading risk factor for type 2 diabetes." In part, the correlation between depression and type 2 diabetes may be mediated by insomnia.
Exposures linked to a reduced type 2 diabetes risk include:
In their analysis the authors explain further:
"The results should inform public health policy on primary type 2 diabetes prevention.
79 per cent of adults with diabetes are living in low- and middle-income countries, according to the IDF. Studies have also shown that there is a slightly higher risk of developing diabetes for Black people, somewhere around 66 more diabetes cases per 1,000 people, somewhere compared to white adults.
Larsson recognizes that major risk factors for type 2 diabetes can vary in part by ethnicity.