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BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2019 Sep 20;7(1):e000652. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2019-000652. eCollection 2019.

Multiple sleep dimensions and type 2 diabetes risk among women in the Sister Study: differences by race/ethnicity.

Author information

Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA.
Department of Cognitive Science, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.



Poor sleep has been associated with type 2 diabetes. Since racial/ethnic minorities experience a disproportionately high prevalence of poor sleep and type 2 diabetes, we sought to determine the relationships between multiple sleep dimensions and incident type 2 diabetes and to investigate if these relationships vary by race/ethnicity.

Research design and methods:

Prospective data were analyzed from the Sister Study, which enrolled 50 884 women from 2003 to 2009. Participants self-reported sleep duration, sleep latency, night awakenings, and napping at baseline, and a physician's diagnosis of type 2 diabetes at follow-up. Multivariable-adjusted HRs and 95% CIs were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models.


Among the 39 071 eligible participants, 87% self-identified as white, 8% black and 5% Hispanic/Latina. The mean follow-up period was 8.5±2.1 years and 1785 type 2 diabetes cases were reported. The incidence rate per 1000 person-years was 5.4 for whites, 13.3 for blacks and 11.6 for Hispanics/Latinas. There was a positive but non-significant increased risk of type 2 diabetes among women who reported short sleep, latency >30 min and frequent night awakenings. In fully-adjusted models, frequent napping was associated with a 19% (HR 1.19, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.37) higher type 2 diabetes risk in the overall sample. Poor sleep among racial/ethnic minorities ranged from a 1.4-fold to a 3.2-fold higher type 2 diabetes risk than whites with recommended sleep.


Frequent napping was associated with higher type 2 diabetes risk. Racial/ethnic minorities with poor sleep had a higher type 2 diabetes risk than whites with recommended sleep.



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