The Global Atlas study explores how type 2 diabetes and insomnia come hand in hand. The researchers list 19 risk factors as well as dismissed 21 suggestive risk factors due to a lack of scientific evidence.
The International Diabetes Federation declares that in 2019, 463 million adults became victims of diabetes worldwide. An increase in blood glucose due to the body’s inability to store them is termed as diabetes.
The lack of absorption of glucose may occur due to the rise in the hormone insulin. However, insulin resistance is a causative factor for Type 2 Diabetes.
Scientists enlighten certain factors that potentially increase the risk of type 2. For instance, consumption of alcohol, avoiding breakfast, sleeping in the daytime, anxiety, disturbed sleep-wake cycle, sodium in the urine, specific amino acids, and inflammatory factors plays a leading hand in making someone a diabetic.
The journal Diabetologia unveils 19 risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Researchers from Sweden further add up 21 risk factors, moreover enlisting 15 factors that reduce the development of the disease.
The Mendelian Randomization – A Marriage Between Genetics and Epidemiology
The researchers experimented by utilizing a method called Mendelian randomization. This method uses genetic information in collaboration with conventional epidemiological methods. However, the epidemiological findings may be biased.
In Karolinska Institute, Susanna Larsson and Shuai Yuan utilized data from the Diabetes Genetics Replication and Meta-analysis consortium. The models they used in their study were 74,124 cases of type 2 and 824,006 subjects for the control experiment. This model falls in the age group of 55 years, there were 51.8% male participants.
The screening of 238 studies was conducted before adding 40 individual papers to their MR investigation. Only 19 factors elevate the risk of diabetes among the 97 factors.
The findings conclude insomnia is a novel risk factor. Insomnia patients are 17% more prone to the development of type 2 diabetes.
The Causatives And The Saviors Against Type 2 Diabetes
According to Larsson, sleeping in the daylight is a causative factor for type 2. Daytime napping has a link with insomnia, thus confusion rises if daytime napping is an independent risk factor or not.
In addition to daytime napping, anxiety, smoking, hypertension and the consumption of caffeine are risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Moreover, obesity, internal fat mass, and body fat percentage account for the increased risk.
Certain amino acids; valine, leucine, and its isomer isoleucine increase the risk of the disease. Improper levels of alanine aminotransferase also lead to diabetes. Alanine aminotransferase aids in the smooth functioning of the liver.
Larsson believes the major risk factor is still type-2 diabetes. However, observations point towards obesity mediating insomnia in part. In particular, she believes that insomnia mediates the special link that exists between type 2 diabetes and depression.
In addition to these, some instances are linked with a somewhat decreased risk of diabetes. Some of them include the exposure to alanine amino acid, consumption of good cholesterol, and a lean body mass among several others.
Putting the Findings To Practical Use
Larsson believes the findings from the study will go a long way in shaping public health policy for the prevention and control of type 2 diabetes.
To start with, the policies need to focus on lowering obesity and smoking. These paired with improved sleep quality, improved education, awareness, and improved cognitive capabilities will help in curbing and controlling it.
The findings are worthwhile but the elephant in the room is the study population’s homogenous nature.
Around 80% of diabetics are from countries with average incomes falling between the low to the middle slab. Studies also suggest that black people have a higher chance of contracting diabetes.
Larsson and her fellow researchers believe that to further improve the study, non-European ancestry will have to be analyzed and other factors will need to be dealt with too.