Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston have released a study concluding that low levels of the hormone melatonin may play a role in developing type 2 diabetes, USA Today reports. They found that women with low levels of melatonin at night had twice the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as those with high levels.
America’s seen a skyrocketing rate of diabetes in recent years. Almost 26 million children and adults, amounting to 8.3 percent of the U.S. population, have diabetes. Rising obesity rates are often cited as a factor, although other potential causes have been identified.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has added warnings to the labels of Pfizer’s Lipitor and other variations of the widely used anti-cholesterol drugs called statins, warning that they may increase the risk of Type II diabetes. The new labels also warn that the drugs may raise blood sugar levels, and could cause memory loss.
According to USA Today, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital examined the blood and urine samples of 370 women who developed type 2 diabetes from 2000 to 2012, and compared them to 370 women of the same race and age who did not develop the disease.
The study took into account other risk factors for type 2 diabetes, including obesity, family history of the disease, diet and smoking.
The story quotes the lead researcher as saying that melatonin may affect the ability of the pancreas to secrete insulin and the body’s sensitivity to insulin. That, in turn, could lead to type 2 diabetes.
Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Lipitor lawyer is also important if diabetes developed while on Lipitor.
See the USA Today story here:
See the Brigham and Women’s Hospital news release here: