Diabetes linked with body clock abnormalities

Type-2 diabetes may be linked to abnormalities in a person's body clock and sleep patterns, according to an international study.

Researchers have identified a mutation associated with the body clock that increases the risk of diabetes by 20%.

The findings suggest that type-2 diabetes could be tackled by treating sleep problems.

For this latest study, the researchers analysed the genetic makeup of 2,151 people in order to identify mutations associated with high blood glucose levels.

They found that people who had the rs1387153 mutation had higher blood glucose levels.

The researchers then investigated whether the presence of the mutation could increase the risk of type-2 diabetes by comparing the genetic makeup of 6,332 diabetics with that of a group of 9,132 healthy people with normal blood glucose levels.

Overall, they found that those who had the rs1387153 mutation had a 20% higher risk of developing diabetes than those who did not have the mutation.

The mutation is near a gene called MTNR1B and forms part of a signalling pathway that controls the action of melatonin, the hormone that regulates circadian rhythm.

The researchers say that this provides evidence to show that diabetes could be directly linked to impaired circadian rhythm.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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