November 02, 2018
2 min read

Insomnia with type 2 diabetes linked to personality traits, not HbA1c

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Adults with type 2 diabetes are more likely than those without to have insomnia, and prevalence of sleep disturbance is highest for women, adults who live alone and those with high levels of neuroticism and low levels of agreeableness, according to findings published in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation.

“Individuals with insomnia have a higher risk of mental disorders, especially depression. In addition, insomnia itself is associated with the risk of newly developing type 2 diabetes mellitus,” Norio Yasui‐Furukori, MD, PhD, associate professor in the department of neuropsychiatry in the Graduate School of Medicine at Hirosaki University in Japan, and colleagues wrote. “More than 40% of type 2 diabetes mellitus patients suffer from insomnia, and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus patients with insomnia is larger than that in the general population.”

Yasui‐Furukori and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study of 504 adults with type 2 diabetes (mean age, 64 years) who were treated for at least 1 year at the department of endocrinology and metabolism at Hirosaki University Hospital in Japan. HbA1c was monitored a minimum of four times per year for each participant.

To determine sleep quality, participants were assessed based on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. The researchers also used the Ten-Item Personality Inventory to identify personality traits, including neuroticism and agreeableness.

Insomnia or clinical sleep disorders were identified in 154 participants, including 13 who received sleep medications, for a prevalence of roughly 28% to 31%, according to the researchers.

Compared with participants without insomnia, those with the sleep disturbance were more likely to be women (38% vs. 52%; P < .01), younger (mean age, 64.9 years vs. 61.3 years; P < .01), have higher BMI (24.7 kg/m2 vs. 26.1 kg/m2; P < .01), and score higher for depressive symptoms (P < .001) and neuroticism (P < .001). In multiple regression analysis, insomnia severity was correlated with female sex (P = .03), living alone (P = .001), higher neuroticism (P = .001) and lower agreeableness (P = .009). Insomnia was not associated with HbA1c.

“The association between HbA1c values and sleep disturbance is still inconclusive.

In the present study, the HbA1c levels did not differ between the patients with and without insomnia. In addition, no multiple linear regression analysis showed a correlation between HbA1c level and insomnia severity,” the researchers wrote. “A previous study showed that the treatment of sleep problems in diabetes patients did not lead to a reduction in HbA1c. Therefore, HbA1c might not be a predictive factor for insomnia in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” – by Phil Neuffer

Disclosures: Yasui-Furukori reports he has been a speaker for Dainippon-Sumitomo Pharmaceutical, Mochida Pharmaceutical and MSD. The other authors report no other relevant financial disclosures.