Health Discoveries in General Health News

Extremes in sleep linked to more fat deposits around vital organs, study found

April 30, 2010
Adults averaging five hours or less of sleep each night may be developing large increases of fat deposits surrounding vital organs, a Wake Forest University study has shown.

The study also indicated that extremes in sleep, either too much or too little, is especially harmful to young minority women, a group disportionately affected by obesity and metabolic disease such as type 2 diabetes. The research appeared in a recent issue of Sleep.

However, researchers found the connection between sleep levels and the accumulation of visceral fat occurred only in patients under the age of 40. "We don't really know yet why this wasn't seen in participants over 40, but it was clear that, in individuals under 40, it is worse to get five or less hours of sleep on average each night than it is to get eight or more hours," said Dr. Kristen Hairston, an assistant professor of endocrinology and metabolism at the university.

Within the North Shore-LIJ Health System, a clinical trial is under way that focuses on ways to treat "obstructive" sleep apnea, a complex sleep disorder in which a blockage occurs in the airway during sleep.ADNFCR-2730-ID-19753936-ADNFCR
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