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Sleep problems may increase a person's risk of receiving lab test results that indicate they have diabetes. A new study suggests that a poor night's sleep can elevate markers of inflammation in a person's body, which may be a risk factor for diabetes.
For the study, researchers from the University of Rochester tested the blood of participants after for markers of inflammation after they were asked to undergo a stressful period of questioning. The results showed that those who rated themselves as poor sleepers were more likely to show signs of inflammation
The researchers said that this can be a serious problem because inflammation increases the chances that a person will develop diabetes. Given the fact that sleep problems are common among older adults, high numbers of seniors could be at risk.
However, the situation can be changed. Kathi Heffner, who led the study, said it is possible to improve sleep patterns, even later in life.
"There are a lot of sleep problems among older adults," Heffner said. "Older adults do not have to sleep poorly. We can intervene on sleep problems in older adulthood. Helping an elderly person become a better sleeper may reduce the risk of poor outcomes associated with inflammation."
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