HealthDay News — Having diabetes and frequent sleep disturbances increases the risk for early death, according to a study published online June 8 in the Journal of Sleep Research.

Malcolm von Schantz, Ph.D., from the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom, and colleagues assessed whether self-reported sleep disturbances, particularly in people with diabetes, are associated with increased mortality risk. The analysis used data from the U.K. Biobank (487,728 adults; mean follow-up time, 8.9 years).

The researchers found that 24.2 percent of participants reported “never/rarely” experiencing sleep disturbances, 47.8 percent reported “sometimes,” and 28 percent reported “usually” experiencing sleep disturbances. Frequent sleep disturbances were associated with an increased risk for all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 1.31) when adjusting for age and sex and remained significant in the fully adjusted model (HR, 1.13). The risk for all-cause mortality was greater for the presence of both diabetes and frequent sleep disturbances than with either condition alone. For frequent sleep disturbances alone, the HR for all-cause mortality was 1.11, and it was 1.67 for diabetes alone but 1.87 for both in the fully adjusted model.


Continue Reading

“Although we already knew that there is a strong link between poor sleep and poor health, this illustrates the problem starkly,” von Schantz said in a statement. “The question asked when the participants enrolled does not necessarily distinguish between insomnia and other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. Still, from a practical point of view it doesn’t matter. Doctors should take sleep problems as seriously as other risk factors and work with their patients on reducing and mitigating their overall risk.”

Abstract/Full Text