OSA is the most common form of breathing sleep disorder.
Caused by an obstruction to the upper airway during sleep as a result of several factors:
- Inherent physical characteristics
- Excess weight
- Alcohol consumption before sleep
Diabetes and Sleep Apnea
- 72% of diabetes patients have either OSA or insomnia.
- Up to 40% of patients who currently have OSA have diabetes.
- One study found 86% of obese patients with type 2 diabetes also had OSA.
- Obesity around the abdomen/middle (apple shape) is a common risk factor for type 2 diabetes and OSA.
- Snoring is independently associated with a doubled risk of developing diabetes after a 10 year period.
OSA and Metabolic Function
- Several studies have shown a link between OSA and insulin resistance/glucose intolerance even when controlling for obesity.
- Other studies have found a correlation between the severity of hypoxia (too little oxygen due to apneas) and the degree of insulin resistance.
- Sleep deprivation studies have shown an increase in glucose intolerance in healthy subjects.
Why the link between Diabetes and OSA?
- Drops in oxygen
- Inflammation of body tissues and cells
- Reduced sleep time/diminished sleep quality
Three Overlapping Conditions 9
All of these diseases can exacerbate one another and contribute to higher overall mortality.
Detailed references available upon request.