Sleep apnoea and type 2 diabetes

Recent research demonstrates the likelihood of a relationship between type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), the most common form of sleep disordered breathing. The IDF consensus statement on sleep apnoea and type 2 diabetes wants to raise awareness of the association between the two conditions, which have significant implications on public health and on the lives of individuals.
A few facts:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep-disordered breathing, accounting for over 80% of cases.
  • Estimates suggest that up to 40% of people with OSA will have diabetes, but the incidence of new diabetes in people with OSA is not known.[i]
  • In people who have diabetes, the prevalence of OSA may be up to 23%[ii], and the prevalence of some form of sleep disordered breathing may be as high as 58%.[iii]
  • Overweight and obesity may play a role, but some recent studies show an association between the two conditions that is independent of overweight/ obesity.
  • OSA may have effects on glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • OSA is associated with a range of cardiovascular complications such as hypertension, stroke and heart failure.

IDF calls on health decision makers to encourage further research into the links between the two conditions and urges healthcare professionals to adopt new clinical practices to ensure that a person with one condition is considered for the other. The IDF statement includes recommendations for screening, treatment and further research.



[i] Meslier N, Gagnadoux F, Giraud P, Person C, Ouksel H, Urban T, Racineux JL:   Impaired glucose-insulin metabolism in males with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Eur Respir J 22(1): 156-160, 2003
[ii] West SD, Nicoll DJ, Stradling JR: Prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea in men with type 2 diabetes. Thorax 61(11): 945-950, 2006
[iii] Resnick HE, Redline S, Shahar E, Gilpin A, Newman A, Walter R, Ewy GA, Howard BV, Punjabi NM: Diabetes and sleep disturbances: findings from the Sleep Heart Health Study. Diabetes Care 26(3): 702-709, 2003