218 - Sex-specific association of melatonin levels and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Findings from the population-based KORA age study

H. Johar, S. Atasoy, Martin Bidlingmaier, J. Kruse, K. Ladwig

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Melatonin, a pineal hormone under the control of biological clock, is an important regulator of sleep and circadian rhythms. Animal and human genetic studies suggest that reduced melatonin signaling can impair insulin sensitivity and lead to type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, the effect of diurnal melatonin secretion patterns on glucose metabolism is unknown.
The association between melatonin levels and T2DM were examined in a total sample of 271 men and 191 women (mean age 74.8±6.3 years, 65-90 years) of the population-based KORA (Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg)-Age study. Multivariable linear regression analyses were employed to examine the association between melatonin levels (pg/mL) (salivary sample after awakening, 30 minutes after and late night before bedtime) and T2DM with adjustments for potential confounders.
Driven by a significant interaction between sex and T2DM on melatonin levels, we further employed sex-specific regression analyses and found that men with T2DM (n=54) showed significantly reduced late night melatonin levels and flattened diurnal patterns (ratio of night to morning) than their non-T2DM counterparts (n=217) (age-adjusted mean, 95%CI: night melatonin: T2DM=6.69,5.39-7.98 vs. non-T2DM=7.71,7.07-8.35; diurnal pattern: T2DM=1.01,0.85-1.17 vs. non-T2DM=1.21,1.13-1.30). This association was stronger in individuals with sleeping problems. However, in women, no statistical discernable difference between T2DM and melatonin levels was observed.
In this aged population, T2DM is associated with lower late night melatonin levels, particularly in men. This suggest the link between sleep and metabolic health could be explained as a fault in the circadian system.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110044
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes
EventAnnual Meeting of the European Association of Psychosomatic Medicine (EAPM 2021) - online
Duration: 3 Jun 20214 Jun 2021
Conference number: 8th

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