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Study: Daytime sleepiness linked with diabetes, cancer risk in elderly

By: Team Ifairer | Posted: 04-03-2020
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Study: Daytime sleepiness linked with diabetes, cancer risk in elderly
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Experiencing daytime sleepiness may be associated with the risk of many diseases, including diabetes, cancer and high blood pressure in older people, according to a study. The condition called hypersomnolence is defined as excessive daytime sleepiness even after having seven or more hours of sleep, the researchers said. It can be debilitating for some people, affecting the way that they perform at work and in other daily activities, they said. "Paying attention to sleepiness in older adults could help doctors predict and prevent future medical conditions," said study author Maurice M Ohayon, of Stanford University in the US.

"Older adults and their family members may want to take a closer look at sleeping habits to understand the potential risk for developing a more serious medical condition," Ohayon said. The study involved 10,930 people, with 34 per cent of the participants 65 years or older. Researchers interviewed participants over the phone two times, three years apart. In the first interview, 23 per cent of people over 65 met the criteria for excessive sleepiness. In the second interview, 24 per cent reported excessive sleepiness. Of those, 41 per cent said the sleepiness was a chronic problem.

The study found that people who reported sleepiness in the first phone interview had a 2.3 times greater risk of developing diabetes or high blood pressure three years later than those who did not experience sleepiness. They were also twice as likely to develop cancer, according to the researchers. Of the 840 people who reported sleepiness at the first interview, 52 people, or 6.2 per cent, developed diabetes compared to 74 people, or 2.9 per cent of those who were never sleepy during the day.
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