Staying up all night playing video games 'puts teenagers at greater risk of diabetes'
05:43 GMT, 1 October 2012
Teenagers who stay up all night playing video games could be putting themselves at increased risk of diabetes, experts have warned.
Research suggests that getting more sleep could help teenagers lower levels of insulin resistance and reduce their chance of developing the potentially lethal condition.
The study's lead author Karen Matthews, of the University of Pittsburgh's department of psychiatry, said: 'High levels of insulin resistance can lead to the development of diabetes.
Warning: Teenagers who stay up all night playing video games could be putting themselves at increased risk of diabetes, research suggests
'We found that if teens that normally get six hours of sleep per night get one extra hour of sleep, they would improve insulin resistance by 9 per cent.'
The study, which is reported in this month's issue of the journal SLEEP, monitored the sleeping patterns and insulin resistance levels of 245 healthy teenagers.
Results showed that higher insulin resistance is associated with shorter sleep duration, regardless of other factors such as race, age, gender, waist circumference, and body mass index.
Danger: A woman tests her blood sugar levels. Research suggests that teenagers who get too little sleep put themselves at increased risk of developing diabetes
The study claims to be the first to show a relationship between shorter sleep and insulin resistance independent of obesity.
The research was published less than a week after another study concluded that diabetes could be caused by harmful bugs in our gut.
Scientists at Copenhagen University in Denmark showed that people with the metabolic disease have more bacteria in their intestines – a breakthrough which could lead to quicker and earlier diagnosis.
Patients with type 2 diabetes – the form that develops in adults and is linked to obesity – is rising rapidly.
Professor Jun Wang, who led the study, said: 'We have demonstrated people with type 2 diabetes have a high level of pathogens in their intestines.'
The findings, published in Nature, also demonstrated people with type 2 diabetes have a more hostile bacterial environment in their gut which can increase resistance to different medicines.
Similar studies carried out on sufferers in Denmark also discovered a significant imbalance in the function of their intestinal bacteria and composition.