The link between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and diabetes is back in the spotlight with the largest study to ever explore it being conducted recently.
Researchers at the University of Toronto involved 8,678 Canadian patients to confirm the research of earlier, smaller studies. The patients were all suspected to have OSA without diabetes to establish a baseline. After undergoing a diagnostic sleep study between 1994 and 2010, the patients were revisited in May 2011 with the presence of diabetes being measured through health administrative records.
The severity of OSA was measured with the apnea-hypopnea index(AHI), so that the patients could be classified by scores: no presence of OSA (AHI<5), mild OSA (AHI 5-14.9), moderate OSA (AHI 15-30) or severe OSA (AHI>30).
At the time of follow-up, 1, 107 patients had developed diabetes, even after adjustments were made for diabetes risk factors such as smoking, sex, age, neck circumference, income status, and body mass index.
The patients who had severe OSA has a 30% higher risk of developing diabetes, compared to those without the sleep disorder. In addition, there was a 23% increased risk of developing diabetes in patients with mild or moderate OSA.
Lead author Tetyana Kendzerska, MD, PhD, of the University of Toronto, confirmed the success of the in a statement, “Our findings that prolonged oxygen desaturation, shorter sleep time and higher heart rate were associated with diabetes are consistent with the pathophysiological mechanisms thought to underlie the relationship between OSA and diabetes.”
If you have sleep apnea treatment has been shown to rapidly improve sleep quality as well as your health. Speak with your physician and get started early to reduce your risk of serious health conditions.