Diabetes and sleep apnea

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


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