A new study examined obstructive sleep apnea and glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes.
The study involved 60 diabetic adults. They were monitored during an overnight sleep study. Blood samples measured glucose control.
Results show that 77 percent of participants had sleep apnea. And increasing OSA severity was associated with worse glucose control.
"Reducing the severity of OSA may improve glycemic control," lead author Dr. Renee S. Aronsohn said in a press release. "Thus effective treatment of OSA may represent a novel and non-pharmacologic intervention in the management of type 2 diabetes."
Only five people in the study had been previously evaluated for sleep apnea. None were undergoing treatment.
It is estimated that about 80 percent of men and 90 percent of women with moderate to severe sleep apnea are undiagnosed. The most common treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy.
The NIDDK reports that diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Most food is broken down into glucose, which is also known as “blood sugar.”
Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, then moves glucose from the blood into the cells. There the glucose becomes a primary source of fuel for the body.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body fails to use insulin effectively. This is known as “insulin resistance.” Then the body produces less insulin over time.
As a result glucose builds up in the blood and passes out of the body through urine. This deprives the body of its main fuel source.
Preliminary data indicate that diabetes was the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2007. A study published last week estimated that in 2007 diabetes cost the U.S. $218 billion.
On SleepEducation.com you can learn more about how sleep loss and sleep disorders are linked to diabetes. Read more about sleep and type 2 diabetes.