NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – In women with diabetes, abnormal sleeping patterns and sleep-disordered breathing appear to partially mediate their increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to analysis of data from the Nurses’ Health Study.

Reporting in the May issue of Diabetes Care, Dr. Christos S. Mantzoros and colleagues discuss their findings from a cohort of 935 women who had completed questionnaires regarding sleep duration and frequency of snoring in 1986. The subjects were ages 43 to 69 years when blood samples were collected in 1989/1990.

After adjusting for age and BMI, C-reactive protein concentration was significantly elevated in women who slept for > 9 hours/day, Dr. Mantzoros, an endocrinologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and his associates report.

Furthermore, the frequency of snoring was significantly associated with HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, adiponectin, and leptin. The authors suggest that "alterations in lipid profile and adiponectin levels may explain in part the metabolic and cardiovascular disturbances associated with frequent snoring."

Continuing, they write that "a possible mechanism explaining the observed associations between C reactive protein, CVD, and long sleep duration in individuals with diabetes may be that increased proinflammatory cytokines induce sleep and in parallel raise C-reactive protein concentrations that promote the development of CVD.

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