Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Treating Diabetes with better sleep and treatment of sleep apnea

Researchers at the University of Chicago led by Dr. Renee Aronsohn say that they have shown a "clear, graded, inverse relationship between obstructive sleep apnea" Sleep apnea is characterized by repetitive episodes of interrupted breathing during sleep. This disorder when properly treated can control Glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes.

"Relative to patients without the sleep disorder, the presence of mild, moderate or severe obstructive sleep disorder significantly increased mean adjusted HbA1c values -- a measure of glucose control not affected by short-term fluctuations due to meals -- by 1.49 percent, 1.93 percent and 3.69 percent, respectively."

The study was published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. The study showed that 77% of the sleep apnea patients had obstructive sleep apnea. Only 5 patients had previously been evaluated for diabetes and none had previous treatment. According to Dr Aronsohn's statment "Our findings have important clinical implications as they support the hypothesis that reducing the severity of obstructive sleep apnea may improve glycemic control," ;and "Thus effective treatment of obstructive sleep apnea may represent a novel and non-pharmacologic intervention in the management of type 2 diabetes."

This is an exciting study and once again shows how important oral appliances are for patients with sleep apnea. Because the majority of patients do not tolerate CPAP treatment it is essential that all patients are offered oral appliances as an alternative to CPAP.

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posted by Dr Shapira at 8:19 PM