Study: Sleep patterns may impact diabetes risk in men

WASHINGTON — It’s long been thought that there might be a link between sleep and diabetes. Now, researchers are saying that association may be different in men and women.

European researchers studied 788 healthy adults from 14 countries across the continent. They measured their sleep patterns using electronic monitors and tested them for two markers for diabetes: insulin sensitivity and the functionality of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

The average amount of sleep for both men and women was about seven hours. But, when the researchers took a close look at those markers, a gender gap emerged.

They found that among men who slept more or less than the norm, both markers showed indications of increased risk. This was not the case with the women — there was no association between the amount of sleep they got and their ability to create insulin and metabolize sugar.

The researchers say they cannot explain the gender difference and they caution that their study is a snapshot in time and that much more work is need to unravel all the mysteries related to the sleep and diabetes connection.

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