Hope For Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Diabetes

A new study brings hope for patients battling with obstructive sleep apnea and diabetes type 2 and poorly controlled blood sugar. The senior author, Francisco Garcia – Rio, MD, professor of medicine at the Autonoma University of Madrid, discovered that the use of continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, improves blood sugar control in patients with diabetes.

The research “Effect of CPAP on glycemic control in patients with obstructive sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes: A randomized clinical trial,” it was found out that patients with OSA and uncontrolled DM-2, who were assigned to use the CPAP, showed significant results in the study’s biomarkers.

There was a decrease in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels at six months; marked improvement in insulin sensitivity in three to six months, and decreased in insulin resistance at six months. According to the study, at 1% decrease in HbA1c also corresponded to 15-20% reduction in the major cardiovascular disease, and 37% decrease in the microvascular complications from diabetes.

If the association is proven, the authors stated that the 0.4 reductions in HbA1c would mean six to eight percent and 37 % decrease in cardiovascular and microvascular risks respectively.

Moreover, it was also found out that patients using CPAP control showed decreased levels of inflammatory molecules IL-1β and IL-6 and higher levels of the hormone adiponectin – a potent glucose regulator.

Regarding the LDL biomarker, the researchers found out that patients on CPAP showed the significant reduction in this field.

The result of the study was based on a total of 50 patients with OSA and sub-optimally controlled DM-2, which ranged from 18 to 80 years old. These patients were referred from the diabetes units and their physicians.

Acknowledging the high prevalence and marked morbidity and mortality and the potential risks of OSA, like traffic accidents, cardiovascular complications and more, Dr. Garcia-Rio underscored early identification of OSA in patients with DM-2 and assessment of metabolic abnormalities to reduce the possible risks associated with the two public health problems.


CPAP may improve glycemic control in sleep apnea patients, http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-03/ats-cmi030316.php

Author: Amabelle Equio, Ph.D candidate in Nursing at Silliman University, Health, Fitness, Medical Writer, Photography Enthusiast.

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