A new study confirms that undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea is common in people with type 2 diabetes.
The study involved 306 obese adults with type 2 diabetes. Each participant was monitored during an overnight sleep study.
Results show that almost 87 percent of participants had undiagnosed sleep apnea. Almost 23 percent of participants had severe sleep apnea; they stopped breathing at least 30 times per hour of sleep. Severe sleep apnea was most common in people with a higher body mass index (BMI).
“The high prevalence of undiagnosed, and therefore untreated, sleep apnea among obese patients with diabetes constitutes a serious public health problem,” study author Gary Foster, PhD, said in a Temple University statement.
Diabetes is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. as of 2006. The NIDDK reports that people who are overweight and inactive are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Excess weight also is a major risk factor for sleep apnea.
“Doctors who have obese patients with type 2 diabetes need to be aware of the possibility of sleep apnea, even if no symptoms are present,” Foster added.
Diabetes can be treated with insulin and oral medications. CPAP is the most effective treatment for sleep apnea. Diet, exercise and weight loss also can play a role in managing both conditions.
Learn more about sleep apnea, sleep loss and diabetes on SleepEducation.com.