POOR SLEEP LINKED HIGHER LIKELIHOOD OF DIABETES IN AFRICAN AMERICANS
The National Institute of Health recently reported that Black men and women are up to two times more likely to develop diabetes over their lifetimes than white Americans.
Diabetes occurs when one’s blood glucose (also called blood sugar) is too high. Over time, high levels of blood glucose can cause heart disease, nerve damage, eye problems, and kidney disease.
Previous studies in white and Asian populations have linked disturbances in sleep to increased blood glucose levels, which may be caused by sleep apnea, a condition where breathing stops or gets very shallow for periods during the sleep cycle. Sleep apnea reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches the organs of the body, potentially leading to many health problems.
To see if links between disrupted sleep and high blood glucose levels also exist in African Americans, researchers led by Dr. Yuichiro Yano from Duke University looked at data collected between 2012 and 2016 by the Jackson Heart Study. This community-based study looked at risk factors for heart disease among African American men and women living in the Jackson, Mississippi metropolitan area.
The analysis included about 800 participants who underwent home sleep apnea testing. They also wore a wrist actigraph—a device that measures wakefulness and sleep—for a week, and kept a sleep diary. This information was used to calculate how long people slept, how often they woke up during the night, and variability in these sleep patterns. Measurements of blood glucose were taken in the clinic.
The participants were mostly women, and about 25% had diabetes. Around a third were found to have sleep apnea, most of whom were not receiving treatment for the condition. The study was funded in part by NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). Results were published on April 28, 2020, in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Both sleep apnea and fragmented sleep patterns recorded during the study were associated with higher blood glucose levels. These associations remained after the researchers adjusted for other factors including age, sex, weight, smoking and alcohol use, and history of diabetes and heart disease.
SAY GOODBYE TO BONELESS CHICKEN AS CORONAVIRUS CRISIS HITS CHICKEN INDUSTRY
There’s a crisis brewing in the chicken industry.
Sussex County, Delaware, a town that leads the country in the most chickens sold for food in the U.S. has had new positive cases of COVID-19 in their employees. This new development reflects cities and towns across the country where meatpacking plants and the communities surrounding them have been a hub for COVID-19 transmission.
Many food retailers across the U.S. are swapping out boneless chicken for less popular thighs and drumsticks as a wave of shutdowns at meatpacking plants have reduced supplies of sought-after cuts.
Grocery store customers may find themselves putting cuts of meat they don’t normally buy in their carts as producers adapt to changes in the supply chain brought by the coronavirus pandemic.
To keep up with demand, the poultry industry is shifting away from de-boning chicken legs to increase production capacity, according to Fortune.
Over the past few weeks, around 20 meat plants nationwide were temporarily closed due to the coronavirus, and dozens more had reported cases. Still, others had shut down but reopened, according to a map by the trade publication Meatingplace magazine.
Plant closures or work slowdowns drive up prices, reduce inventory on grocery shelves and threaten to strike an even bigger blow to the nation’s economy. Already, grocery giants Costco and Kroger have begun rationing meat supplies for customers.
In April, Delaware poultry processor Allen Harim Foods reportedly had to destroy nearly 2 million chickens because staffing shortages tied to the coronavirus meant it couldn’t keep up with the birds headed to its facilities from local farms.
According to U.S. News & World Report, more than half of the 300 workers tested in just one county plant last week were found to be positive for the virus. Sussex County has reported roughly 2,500 cases of infection with the novel coronavirus, nearly half the total for all of Delaware.
Bayhealth has been invited to test additional plant workers this week as part of an unprecedented effort to curb COVID-19 in a county that also accounts for the majority of the roughly 270 million broiler chickens produced annually in Delaware. Sussex County chickens fill freezer cases throughout the mid-Atlantic region, including in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.
Another chicken processing plant in North Carolina, House of Raeford, was also hit by workers testing positive for COVID-19. The House of Raeford manager of corporate communications and sustainability Dave Witter released the following statement:
“We can reconfirm that there have been a very small number of employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 at our Greenville operation.
“It is important to emphasize that the safety and quality of the food we produce is, of course, a high priority for House of Raeford Farms.
“Based on statements from the CDC, USDA, and FDA, there is currently ‘no evidence to support the transmission of the COVID-19 virus associated with food.’
“Our processing facilities will continue to maintain the highest standards of food safety in cooperation with the USDA.
Meat is not going to disappear from grocery store shelves, a Tyson spokesperson told FOX Business.