Diabetes and sleep apnoea

Among people with diabetes, the prevalence of sleep apnoea is very high (up to 58%).1 Similarly, there is a high prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes among people with sleep apnoea (in one study 50% of male sleep apnoea patients had abnormal glucose tolerance, and 30% of them had diabetes).2

Obesity is a common and contributing factor to both sleep apnoea and diabetes. However, despite the significance of obesity in both these diseases, studies have shown that sleep apnoea is an additional contributing factor that is independently associated with glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, regardless of obesity.3,4 Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes.

CPAP may improve insulin sensitivity and glycemic control in patients with sleep apnoea, particularly for non-obese patients.5,6