Sleep Apnea and Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes and Sleep Apnea – New Study Finds Link

People with sleep apnea, especially obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), are used to being told that they are at a greater risk for a number of conditions and even fatal problems (such as cardiac death).

However, a new study has shown that people with Type 2 Diabetes are also at a higher risk for developing OSA.  The link between Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea was explored in the study conducted by the University of Texas Family Medicine Center*.  The study surveyed a group of adults over the age of 18 who had Type 2 diabetes, and they were given questions based on a number of factors such as socio-demographic and economic information, their medical history and type and number of medications.  To determine their risk of OSA, study participants were asked to complete a Berlin Questionnaire, which is a simple set of questions widely used throughout the US to determine risk factors for the condition.

The results were as follows:

  • Almost 13 per cent of participants had already been diagnosed with OSA
  • The remaining participants were classified as being at a “high risk” of developing OSA in the future.
  • Overall, patients who were aged less than sixty were at an even greater risk of developing the condition.

Finally, two interesting points that we noticed from the study into Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea – patients who were considered to be at risk of developing depression, or who had symptoms of depression were more likely to develop OSA, and the gender of the participant had no bearing on the risk levels for OSA.  It seems apparent that further studies into the link between depression and sleep apnea definitely seem warranted.

*Source: Cass AR, Alonso WJ, Islam J, Weller SC. Risk of obstructive sleep apnea in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Fam Med. 2013 Jul-Aug;45(7):492-500

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Surviving Sleep Apnea
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