Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Diabetes
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a chronic treatable sleep disorder and a frequent comorbidity in patients with type 2 diabetes. Cardinal features of OSA, including intermittent hypoxemia and sleep fragmentation, have been linked to abnormal glucose metabolism.
The relationship between OSA and type 2 diabetes may be bidirectional in nature given that diabetic neuropathy can affect central control of respiration and upper airway neural reflexes promoting sleep-disordered breathing. Despite the strong association between OSA and type 2 diabetes, the effect of treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) on markers of glucose metabolism has been conflicting. Variability with CPAP adherence may be one of the key factors behind these conflicting results. Lastly, accumulated data suggests an association between OSA and type 1 diabetes as well as gestational diabetes.