Visit Our Coronavirus (COVID-19)  Resource Section ⇒ X
Jump to:  A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G   |   H   |   I   |   J   |   K   |   L   |   M   |   N   |   O   |   P   |   Q   |   R   |   S   |   T   |   U   |   V   |   W   |   X   |   Y

Being a 'Night Owl' Raises Odds for Diabetes If You're Obese

Being a 'Night Owl' Raises Odds for Diabetes If You're Obese

MONDAY, May 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Though obesity by itself can drive up heart disease risk, new research suggests diabetes and heart disease risk is especially high when combined with a tendency to stay up late at night.

The finding stems from a comparison of sleep patterns and disease in 172 middle-aged people as part of an ongoing obesity prevention study in Italy.

"The sleep-wake cycle is one of the most important behavioral rhythms in humans," said lead researcher Dr. Giovanna Muscogiuri. She is an assistant professor in the endocrinology unit of the University of Naples Federico II, in Italy.

For the study, her team grouped participants according to their sleep patterns.

Nearly six in 10 were early risers — the so-called "morning larks." These folks tend to wake up and be most active early in the day.

About 13% were "night owls." They tended to wake up late and be most active during late afternoon or evening.

The rest — about three in 10 -- fell somewhere in between (the "intermediate-type").

Though study participants in all three groups had similar BMIs, night owls were more likely to eat big dinners and have other unhealthy habits, such as tobacco use and lack of exercise. (BMI, or body mass index, is an estimate of body fat based on height and weight.)

And all that put them at higher risk for health problems.

While 30% of morning larks had heart disease, that figure hit nearly 55% among night owls, the study found.

The risk of type 2 diabetes, meanwhile, was about 9% among morning people, and almost 37% among night owls. There was no difference between morning people and participants who were in the intermediate-type category.

Muscogiuri noted that prior studies have estimated that late risers have 1.3 times the risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, compared with early risers. They are also less likely to follow a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, which is heavy on fruits, vegetables and fish.

Taken together, she said, all these features leave night owls at higher risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

As to the best way to combat it, Muscogiuri suggested that efforts to get obesity under control might be more successful if sleep patterns were taken into account.

So the idea, she explained, would be to help obese patients develop better sleep-wake habits based on earlier rising, because earlier rising patterns might help such patients develop better dietary and activity habits, and thereby "increase their chance of success for weight loss."

Unfortunately, getting people to change their sleep, eating and activity routines won't be easy, warned cardiologist Dr. Kenneth Ellenbogen, of the Medical College of Virginia, in Richmond.

"We know how hard it can be to reset an individual's biological clock or activity habits," he said. "And while this is certainly fascinating work, it's really hard to know what's really going on from one observational study involving a relatively small number of patients."

Ellenbogen noted, for example, that it's unclear whether "sleeping in" is a direct cause of the increased risk for type 2 diabetes or heart disease, or whether it's the lifestyle associated with sleeping in that indirectly raises risk.

"It's not at all obvious to me what the answer is," he said after reviewing the findings. "And I certainly wouldn't say this study proves anything like cause and effect."

Ellenbogen suggested that the research should be regarded as the start of an ongoing effort to explore links between sleep patterns and heart function.

Muscogiuri's team presented the findings Wednesday at a virtual meeting of the European Congress on Obesity. Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

To learn more about the links between sleep and heart health, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Giovanna Muscogiuri, MD, PhD, assistant professor, endocrinology unit, University of Naples Federico II, Italy; Kenneth Ellenbogen, MD, chairman, division of cardiology, Virginia Commonwealth University Heart Center, and director, clinical cardiac electrophysiology and pacing, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond; presentation, European Congress on Obesity, May 12, 2021, online

Reviewed Date: --

Find a pediatrician
Cardiology
Dr. Rose Cummings
Dr. Alexander Ellis
Dr. Robert Escalera II
Dr. Jonathan Fleenor
Dr. Lopa Hartke
Dr. John Reed
Dr. Elliot Tucker
Dr. Michael Vance
Children's Cardiac Surgery
Dr. Emily Downs
Dr. James Gangemi
Dr. Philip Smith
Endocrinology/Diabetology
Dr. Eric Gyuricsko
Dr. Nicole Nejedly
Dr. Melinda Penn
Dr. Kent Reifschneider
Dr. Melissa Russell
Dr. Marta Satin-Smith
Neurology
Dr. Sarah Chagnon
Dr. Thomas Enlow
Dr. Ralph Northam
Dr. Crystal Proud
Dr. Svinder Toor
Dr. Ryan Williams
Sleep Medicine
Dr. Michael Strunc
Dr. Jennifer Wiebke
Health Tips
High Blood Pressure: Kids Can Have It, Too
Lifestyle Changes Can Help Kids Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Recipes
Avocado Tacos / Tacos de aguacate
Beef or Turkey Stew / Carne de res o de pavo guisada
Caribbean Red Snapper / Pargo rojo caribeño
Pozole
Rice with Chicken, Spanish Style / Arroz con pollo
Spanish Omelet / Tortilla española
Tropical Fruits Fantasia/ Fantasía de frutas tropicales
Two Cheese Pizza / Pizza de dos quesos
Quizzes
Heart Health Quiz
Heart Quiz for Women Only
Older, Wiser, Wider?
Sleep: Test Your Knowledge
NewsLetters
3 Heart-Friendly Ways to Upgrade Your Day
7 Steps to Better Blood Pressure Control
A Surprising Way to Boost Heart Health: Get a Flu Shot
Don’t Hit Pause on Health Screenings
Lifesaving Truths About Hypertension
Taking Your Emotional Health to Heart
Women: Midlife Isn’t Too Late to Slash Stroke Risk
Diseases & Conditions
Anomalous Coronary Artery in Children
Chronic Hypertension and Pregnancy
Diabetes During Pregnancy
Diet and Diabetes
High Blood Pressure in Children and Teens
Home Page - Cardiovascular Disorders
Normal Newborn Behaviors and Activities
Overview of Diabetes Mellitus
Pregnancy and Medical Conditions
Pregnancy and Pre-existing Heart Disease
Teens and Diabetes Mellitus
Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn
Type 2 Diabetes in Children

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.