Associations of sleep disturbance and duration with metabolic risk factors in obese persons with type 2 diabetes: data from the Sleep AHEAD Study

Nat Sci Sleep. 2012 Dec 3;4:143-50. doi: 10.2147/NSS.S35797. Print 2012.


Purpose: Some studies have found an association between sleep disturbances and metabolic risk, but none has examined this association in individuals with type 2 diabetes. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between sleep disturbances and metabolic risk factors in obese patients with type 2 diabetes.

Patients and methods: This study was a cross-sectional examination of the relationship between sleep parameters (apnea/hypopnea index [AHI], time spent in various sleep stages) and metabolic risk markers (fasting glucose, hemoglobin A1c, lipids) using baseline data of the Sleep AHEAD cohort. Subjects (n = 305) were participants in Sleep AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes), a four-center ancillary study of the Look AHEAD study, a 16-center clinical trial of overweight and obese participants with type 2 diabetes, designed to assess the long-term effects of an intensive lifestyle intervention on cardiovascular events. All participants underwent one night of in-home polysomnography and provided a fasting blood sample. Regression analyses estimated the relationship between sleep variables and metabolic risk factors. Models were adjusted for study center, age, sex, race/ethnicity, waist circumference, smoking, alcohol intake, diabetes duration, and relevant medications.

Results: Of 60 associations tested, only one was significant: fasting glucose was associated with sleep efficiency (estimate -0.53 ± [standard error] 0.26, P = 0.041). No associations were found between any of the sleep variables and lipid profile or hemoglobin A1c.

Conclusions: The present data show only weak associations between select sleep variables and metabolic risk factors and do not provide strong support for a role of sleep on metabolic abnormalities in obese patients with type 2 diabetes.

Keywords: diabetes; metabolic risk; obesity; obstructive sleep apnea; sleep.