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Staying Up Late Linked to Increased Diabetes Risks
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Staying Up Late Linked to Increased Diabetes Risks.
Researchers have found that the habit of staying up late and waking up late is associated with a 19% increase in the risk of diabetes, even after accounting for lifestyle factors.
A new study brings important insights for those who consider themselves night owls.
Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, one of the founding members of the Massachusetts General Brigham healthcare system, discovered that people who stay up late and wake up late are at a greater risk of developing diabetes compared to early birds.
Their findings were published in the September 12th edition of the “Annals of Internal Medicine.”
Lead author Dr. Tien-Yi Huang, an epidemiologist and a Ph.D. holder in science, commented, “Chronotype, or the preference for sleep and wake times, is partially determined by genetics and may be challenging to change. People who identify as ‘night owls’ may need to pay closer attention to their lifestyle choices as their evening-oriented chronotype could increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”
Previous research has shown that people with irregular sleep patterns are at a higher risk of both diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, and late chronotypes are more likely to have irregular sleep patterns. In this study, the researchers aimed to understand the relationship between chronotype and diabetes risk while considering lifestyle factors.
The research team analyzed data from 63,676 female nurses collected between 2009 and 2017 as part of the Nurses’ Health Study II, which included self-reported chronotype (how much participants considered themselves night owls or early birds), dietary quality, body weight and mass index (BMI), sleep duration, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, physical activity, and family history of diabetes. The participants’ diabetes status was determined based on their self-reports and medical records.
The Nurses’ Health Study II, conducted jointly by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Network Medicine and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, is one of the largest investigations into major chronic disease risk factors among women. One of its strengths is the regular tracking of study participants and repeated assessments of their health and lifestyle factors.
Approximately 11% of the participants identified themselves as having a “definite evening” chronotype, while about 35% identified as “definite morning” chronotypes. The remaining approximately half were categorized as “intermediate,” meaning they were either not clearly morning or evening types or leaned slightly more toward one type than the other.
Before accounting for lifestyle factors, “evening types” were associated with a 72% increase in diabetes risk. After accounting for lifestyle factors, the risk of diabetes among evening types increased by 19%. In this study, only 6% of the healthiest lifestyle group had an “evening chronotype,” while 25% of the least healthy lifestyle group were evening types.
The research found that people with an evening chronotype were more likely to engage in heavy alcohol consumption, have lower dietary quality, shorter nightly sleep duration, be current smokers, and have unhealthy body weights, BMI, and physical activity levels.
First author Dr. Sina Kianersi, a veterinarian with a Ph.D. and a postdoctoral researcher at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Network Medicine, stated, “The close relationship between chronotype and diabetes risk was attenuated when we controlled for unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, but it remained, suggesting that lifestyle factors play a substantial role in this association.”
Additionally, the association between evening chronotype and diabetes risk was only observed among daytime shift nurses and not among nighttime shift nurses.
Huang explained, “When chronotype does not align with work hours, we found an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. This is another intriguing finding that suggests more personalized work schedules could be beneficial.”
The Nurses’ Health Study primarily consists of white female nurses, and further research will be needed to determine if the patterns observed here hold true in different populations. While the study shows correlations, it cannot establish causation, as there may be other factors contributing to an individual’s chronotype, unhealthy habits, and diabetes risk.
Next, the researchers plan to investigate the genetic determinants of chronotype and their associations with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes in a larger and more diverse population.
Kianersi stated, “If we can establish a causal relationship between chronotype and diabetes or other diseases, doctors can better tailor prevention strategies for their patients.”
Staying Up Late Linked to Increased Diabetes Risks
(source:internet, reference only)