Midlife women with type 2 diabetes (T2D) have more severe sleep disturbances than those without diabetes, according to study results published in Menopause.

The researchers analyzed associations between T2D and sleep disturbances in midlife women (aged 40-60 years) from 4 major racial/ethnic groups in the United States. Data were used from participants of 2 online survey studies, including women diagnosed with T2D (n=62) and women without diabetes (n=102). The surveys collected information about potential influencing factors such as background characteristics, health status, and menopause status, and the Sleep Index for Midlife Women was used to measure sleep-related symptoms.

The results indicated that women with T2D had a significantly higher number of sleep-related symptoms (9.95±5.83 symptoms) compared with those without diabetes (7.25±6.08 symptoms; P =.006). Women with T2D also had a significantly higher mean total severity score of sleep-related symptoms (33.42±22.41) compared with those without diabetes (21.87±21.40; P =.001).

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For postmenopausal women and Asian women, the researchers found significant differences in total numbers and total severity scores of sleep-related symptoms between women with vs without T2D (all P <.05).

After adjusting for background characteristics, health status, and menopause status, a diagnosis of T2D was positively associated with total numbers (β, 0.143; P =.047) and total severity scores (β, 0.176; P =.014) of sleep-related symptoms.

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The study had several limitations, including that it was a secondary analysis and therefore lacked control of the sample size and variables. In addition, it included self-reported data from participants who tended to be from a particular demographic. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings.

“[R]esearchers and healthcare providers need to assess sleep-related symptoms when they provide care for midlife women with [T2D,] and they need to provide guidelines for improving sleep-related symptoms during their menopausal transition,” the researchers wrote.

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Im EO, Yang YL, Liu J, Chee W. Sleep-related symptoms of midlife women with and without type 2 diabetes mellitus. Menopause. 2019;26(10):1-7.