Among people with diabetes, the prevalence of sleep apnea is very high (up to 58%).1 Similarly, among patients with sleep apnea both impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes have a high prevalence (in one study 50% of male sleep apnea patients had abnormal glucose tolerance, and 30% of them had diabetes).2
Obesity is a common and contributing factor to both sleep apnea and diabetes. However, despite the importance of obesity in both these diseases, studies have shown that sleep apnea is an additional contributing factor that is independently associated with glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.3,4 Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes.
CPAP improves insulin sensitivity and glycemic control in patients with sleep apnea, particularly for non-obese patients.5,6
Resnick HE, Redline S, Shahar E, Gilpin A, Newman A, Walter R, Ewy GA, Howard BV, Punjabi NM; Sleep Heart Health Study. Diabetes and sleep disturbances: findings from the Sleep Heart Health Study.
Meslier N, Gagnadoux F, Giraud P, Person C, Ouksel H, Urban T, Racineux JL Impaired glucose-insulin metabolism in males with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome
Punjabi NM, Shahar E, Redline S, Gottlieb DJ, Givelber R, Resnick HE; Sleep Heart Health Study Investigators. Sleep-disordered breathing, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance: the Sleep Heart Health Study.
Punjabi NM, Sorkin JD, Katzel LI, Goldberg AP, Schwartz AR, Smith PL Sleep-disordered breathing and insulin resistance in middle-aged and overweight men.
Harsch IA, Schahin SP, Radespiel-Troger M, Weintz O, Jahreiss H, Fuchs FS, Wiest GH, Hahn EG, Lohmann T, Konturek PC, Ficker JH 5. Harsch IA, Schahin SP, Radespiel-Troger M, Weintz O, Jahreiss H, Fuchs FS, Wiest GH, Hahn EG, Lohmann T, Konturek PC, Ficker JH
Babu AR, Herdegen J, Fogelfeld L, Shott S, Mazzone T. Type 2 diabetes, glycemic control, and continuous positive airway pressure in obstructive sleep apnea.