Obstructive sleep apnea, retinopathy linked in diabetes

May 19, 2009

The eyes may be the window into the soul, but they may also contain important medical information. According to new research to be presented at the American Thoracic Society's 105th International Conference in San Diego on May 19, patients with diabetes who have retinopathy should also be screened for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

"We know from our earlier research that 23 percent of men with type 2 diabetes have OSA and this is under-recognized and under-treated," said Sophie D. West, M.D., of the Oxford Centre for Respiratory Medicine in the United Kingdom, who led the research. "This study suggests that OSA is linked to retinopathy in type 2 diabetes."

The researchers analyzed data from 118 men who had participated in the earlier study on the prevalence of OSA in type 2 diabetes in Oxford, England, and who also had retinal images to review. (All patients with type 2 diabetes in the U.K. are offered annual retinal screening to look for signs of retinopathy.) The images were studied by ophthalmology graders for evidence of retinopathy and the sleep study data was reviewed to determine the presence or absence of OSA.

The researchers found that retinopathy was present in more than half—54 percent—of those who had OSA, compared to fewer than a third—31 percent—of those without OSA, independent of the effects of control, age, , high blood pressure and the duration of the diabetes. This was statistically significant.

"These results suggest an association between OSA and retinopathy that should be further investigated," said Dr. West. "While the study only analyzed data from men, there is no reason to believe that gender would play a role in the results."

There has been very little work previously regarding the relationship between OSA and retinopathy. Previous studies have found strong links between poor glucose control and high blood pressure with retinopathy and these have been the main areas upon which treatment has been targeted in diabetes in order to prevent retinopathy from developing and to delay its progression. However, in this study, OSA had a far stronger relationship with retinopathy than did glucose control or high .

"While there is clearly more research to be done, there is an immediate implication to consider," said Dr. West. "Our message would be for doctors and nurses who see patients with to consider whether they could have OSA and whether they should therefore be referred for a sleep study."

Symptoms of possible OSA include snoring, apneas (stopping breathing) and daytime sleepiness. "Future research will try to determine whether the treatment for OSA, that is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), can delay the development or progression of retinopathy, associated with ."

Source: American Thoracic Society (news : web)

Explore further: Restrictions lifted at British bird flu farm

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Even mild sleep apnea increases cardiovascular risk

Oct 24, 2008

People with even minimally symptomatic obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may be at increased risk for cardiovascular disease because of impaired endothelial function and increased arterial stiffness, according to a study from ...

Procedure helps to eliminate sleep apnea

Oct 24, 2007

A procedure known as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) may help some patients improve or even eliminate their obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to a new study. The research, presented at CHEST 2007, the 73rd annual ...

Recommended for you

Restrictions lifted at British bird flu farm

18 hours ago

Britain on Sunday lifted all restrictions at a duck farm in northern England after last month's outbreak of H5N8 bird flu, the same strain seen in recent cases across Europe.

Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000

Dec 20, 2014

The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban ...

Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears (Update)

Dec 20, 2014

Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

Dec 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

randeg
not rated yet May 20, 2009
This is great alert for type 2 diabetics so that they can avoid retinopathy that could lead to blindness. I am so glad you got this out in the open to warn patients who also have obstructive sleep apnea to make sure this is looked after so that it will not lead to retinopathy. Thank you so much for this.

Evelyn Guzman
http://www.free-s...lert.com (If you want to visit, just click but if it doesn%u2019t work, copy and paste it onto your browser.)

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.