Elderly people with sleep and respiratory problems, like heavy snoring, many times have high glucose levels. Such symptoms indicate that snorers could be twice as predisposed as healthy sleepers to suffer of type two diabetes, according to a recent study.
Medical data gathered from 5,000 American adults followed for over a decade, suggests that physicians might have to monitor glucose levels in older people with sleep disorders. Recent proof indicates that diabetic sufferers have a higher occurrence of sleep disruptions than healthy people.
Not many things are known about complications in sleep-disordered respiration or the risk of suffering of type 2 diabetes because of them, especially in seniors. The majority of medical conclusions drawn until now about heavy snoring on elderly patients are just indirect observations and not studies focusing on them
Sleep apnea has frequent periods during nighttime sleep when the respiratory system closes itself and people stop breathing completely. Often breathing continues suddenly with a noisy snort and choking sounds, according to specialists.
These recurring respiratory disruptions, which can happen up to 20 times during every hour, have been associated with daytime tiredness and higher risk of hypertension, cardiac arrest, heart stroke and failure, irregular pulse rate, diabetic complications and even death.
The majority of tests on diabetes and sleep problems have used young and middle-aged subjects, according to the scientists who published their study in Diabetes Care. Unfortunately, heavy snoring and apnea become more aggravated with age.
Experts examined data from 6,000 participants that were registered from all American States between 1990 and 1995, when they were 60 or older. None of these people suffered of type-2 diabetes at the beginning of the study.
Each year until 2000, the scientists asked the elderly people whether anyone had noticed them developing episodes of snoring, whether a partner had talked about their heavy snoring and if they were frequently drowsy during the day.
All subjects’ levels of blood insulin, the hormone that controls glucose levels, were measured at the beginning of the research, and their later glucose levels were registered many times during the years of study. Specialists also observed who developed a form of type 2 diabetes over the course of this extended research.
Older people who reported heavy snoring, OSA or daytime tiredness usually had higher levels of glucose than healthy sleepers. These participants also had blood insulin resistance, meaning that they produced extremely high amounts of hormones, but their organism could not control such unusual glucose levels.
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