A new 'global atlas' study published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]) is the first to identify insomnia as a risk factor associated with increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D). The study identifies 34 risk factors that are thought to increase (19) or decrease risk (15), as well as a further 21 'suggestive' risk factors where evidence was not quite as strong.
Researchers found evidence of causal associations between 34 exposures (19 risk factors and 15 protective factors) and T2D. Insomnia was identified as a novel risk factor, with people with insomnia being 17% more likely to develop T2D than those without.
The other 18 risk factors for T2D were depression, systolic blood pressure, starting smoking, lifetime smoking, coffee (caffeine) consumption, blood plasma levels of the amino acids isoleucine, valine and leucine, liver enzyme alanine aminotransferase (a sign of liver function), childhood and adulthood body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, internal fat mass, resting heart rate, and blood plasma levels of four fatty acids.
The study confirmed several previously established risk factors and identified novel potential risk factors for T2D. Findings should inform public health policies for the primary prevention of type 2 diabetes.