More than a bad night's sleep: Sleep apnea widely undiagnosed among obese type 2 diabetics

May 21, 2009

Sleep apnea has long been known to be associated with obesity. But a new study published in the June issue of Diabetes Care finds that the disorder is widely undiagnosed among obese individuals with type 2 diabetes - nearly 87 percent of participants reported symptoms, but were never diagnosed.

For those with untreated , it doesn't just mean their sleep is disrupted; existing research shows that it can also mean an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

"The high prevalence of undiagnosed, and therefore, untreated sleep apnea among with diabetes constitutes a serious public health problem," said Gary Foster, PhD, lead author and director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University.

The new study, called Sleep AHEAD, looked at 306 obese patients with type 2 diabetes already enrolled in the Look AHEAD trial, a 16-site study investigating the long-term health impact of an intensive lifestyle intervention in 5, 145 overweight or obese adults with type 2 diabetes.

Each participant had a sleep study (polysomnogram) that measures various breathing and during sleep. Participants also filled out a series of questions about symptoms related to sleep (snoring, during the day), and had their weight, height, waist and neck circumferences measured.

Researchers found that 86.6 percent of participants had sleep apnea, yet reported never being diagnosed. More than 30 percent of these had between 16 and 20 episodes per hour where they would stop breathing, and 22 percent had more than 30 episodes per hour, considered severe sleep apnea. Most of these also had a larger waist circumference, which researchers found, along with higher BMI, to be significantly associated with sleep apnea.

has long been known to be associated with sleep apnea, but researchers say that these findings are alarming.

"Doctors who have obese patients with need to be aware of the possibility of apnea, even if no symptoms are present, especially in cases where the patient has a high BMI or waist circumference," said Foster.

Currently, more than half of obese or overweight individuals have diabetes, the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

Source: Temple University (news : web)

Explore further: Cochrane Review of RDT for diagnosis of drug resistant TB

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Cochrane Review of RDT for diagnosis of drug resistant TB

58 minutes ago

Researchers from the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group, hosted at LSTM, have conducted an independent review to examine the diagnostic accuracy of the GenoType MTBDRsl assay for the detection of resistance ...

Africans in New York complain of Ebola stigma

5 hours ago

Members of the west African community in New York complained Wednesday that their children were being bullied at school and businesses were losing money because of hysteria over Ebola.

Ebola expert says China at risk, seeks Japan aid

5 hours ago

A scientist who helped to discover the Ebola virus says he is concerned that the disease could spread to China given the large numbers of Chinese workers traveling to and from Africa.

User comments : 0

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.