Background: Several recent studies have related short sleep duration with different health problems, though the results related with the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) are far from conclusive. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between night-time sleep duration and the incidence of obesity and T2D in a prospective study with a follow-up of 11 years.
Material and methods: The study comprised 1145 people evaluated in 1997-1998 and re-evaluated after 6 years and 11 years. At the three study points, subjects without known diabetes mellitus (KDM) were given an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Anthropometric and biochemical variables were measured. The subjects were asked about their number of hours of night-time sleep.
Results: After adjustment, the OR of becoming obese was significantly higher in subjects who slept ≤ 7 hours per night, at both the 6-year follow-up (OR = 1.99; 95% CI = 1.12-3.55) and the 11-year follow-up (OR = 2.73; 95% CI = 1.47-5.04). The incidence of T2D at the 6-year follow-up in subjects without T2D at baseline was higher in those who slept ≤ 7 hours per night (OR = 1.96; 95% CI = 1.10-3.50). However, this association was not independent of obesity, weight gain or abnormal glucose regulation at baseline. At the 11-year follow-up however there was no association between night-time sleep duration and the incidence of T2D.
Conclusions: The incidence of obesity over the 11-year follow-up increased in subjects with fewer hours of night-time sleep. The incidence of T2D according to the hours of night-time sleep depended on obesity and the carbohydrate metabolism phenotype.
Keywords: Night-time sleep duration; Obesity; Prospective study; Southern Spain; Type 2 diabetes; Weight gain.
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