Treating Sleep Apnea Can Help With Lowering Diabetes Risk

Kozzi-senior-woman-sleeping-on-lounger-441-X-294People with sleep apnea that have slightly elevated blood sugar levels can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes if they treat the sleep apnea. These findings were the result of a new study that looks at sleep apnea in high risk diabetes patients. The study was lead by Dr. Esra Tasali, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago.

The condition of pre-diabetes, which refers to people that have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, currently affects roughly 57 million Americans, according to the researchers. The majority of these individuals also suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is common among individuals that are overweight or obese and it has also been linked with heart disease.

If pre-diabetes is left untreated, it can develop into Type 2 diabetes. However, the researchers determined that using a CPAP device as a treatment method for sleep apnea for eight hours each night can help to improve the condition of patients with pre-diabetes.

The study worked with 39 individuals that were overweight or obese. All of the participants had pre-diabetes and sleep apnea. The researchers divided the patients into two groups in which one group received CPAP treatment for up to eight hours each night. The other group received an inactive placebo pill that was to be taken before bedtime each night.

The participants were then asked to sleep in a sleep laboratory and were monitored with all-night sleep recordings. At the conclusion of the study, the results indicated that the patients that had received the CPAP treatment had better blood sugar level control and higher insulin sensitivity when compared with the placebo group. The CPAP group also had lower levels of stress hormones and lower blood pressure. The findings of the study were published to the journal, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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