Sleep Apnea and Type 2 Diabetes

Tools

Story Updated: Sep 19, 2012

The oxygen starvation experienced by patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may lead to other severe diseases, like Type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Several studies indicate that the fragmented sleep and intermittent hypoxia -- bouts of oxygen starvation -- typical of OSA are associated with the development of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. As the research stacks up, the results are unsettling but informative.

According to Dr. Naresh Punjabi, a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md., 70 to 80 percent of Type 2 diabetes patients also have OSA.

Even more recently, board certified sleep specialist Dr. Domingo Rodriguez-Cue reported that intermittent hypoxia can initiate a cellular process known as "mitochondrial dysfunction," which plays a role in the onset of cancer.

"Finding successful treatment for obstructive sleep apnea isn't only critical to your energy levels and quality of sleep, but to your longterm health, too," says Edward Grandi, executive director of the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA). "Heart disease is another OSA hazard. Sleep apnea is frequently seen in people with heart failure and stroke, and it's known to cause a rise in blood pressure."

In the technical world, the presence of two chronic diseases or conditions at the same time is called a "comorbidity." But, some of the relationships between sleep apnea and its comorbidities teeter on the edge of cause and effect.

Punjabi believes sleep apnea can advance Type 2 diabetes in someone who is predisposed to the disease already. Another key factor, which affects both diseases, is obesity -- one of America's epidemics. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 33 percent of Americans over age 20 are now obese.

Obesity is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea, creating a lethal mix of severe ailments when present. Like obesity, OSA may contribute to diabetes. The off-and-on breathing from apneas and hypopneas starves a sleeper of oxygen and stresses their metabolic balance. This can stimulate excessive adrenaline, which in turn may worsen a predisposition to insulin resistance, thus advancing diabetes in addition to cancer.

Learn more about OSA, its complications and its treatment at www.sleepapnea.org.

Add a comment

Name:

Comment: 250 Characters Left

WBNG and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the above comments or other interaction among the users. We reserve the right to screen, refuse to post, remove or edit user-generated content at any time and for any or no reason in our absolute and sole discretion without prior notice, although we have no duty to do so or to monitor any Public Forum.

Featured Professional
Featured Professionals

Cardiovascular Services

Guthrie Cardiovascular Center

Interviews with Dr. Larson
Interviews with Dr. Ashok Shah
Interviews with Dr. Marica
Interviews with Dr. Sampson
Interviews with Dr. Deshmukh
Interviews with Dr. McClintock

Guthrie Cardiovascular Center

Consistently ranked among the top 100 cardiovascular hospitals by Thomson Reuters, Guthrie cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, and vascular surgeons work together to ensure patients receive the most comprehensive care possible.

Offering cardiovascular care to the Twin Tiers for more than 40 years, Guthrie’s cardiac specialists and staff have offered the people of our region the most advanced diagnostic and therapeutic services possible, while earning national awards for quality and recognition for excellence.

Diagnostic & Non-Invasive Cardiology
Non-invasive cardiology includes all procedures that allow the cardiologist to obtain information about the heart without going through the skin or invading the body in any way. Many times these procedures are the first steps in evaluating a patient's condition. Guthrie provides diagnostic and non-invasive cardiology services, including multi-slice CT angiography, comprehensive mobile echocardiography services including stress echo, EKG, holter monitoring and nuclear stress testing to name a few.

Invasive & Interventional Cardiology
When non-invasive techniques don't provide all the answers, additional diagnostic procedures may be used to more clearly identify and treat cardiac problems. Within Guthrie’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories, invasive and interventional cardiologists offer subspecialty diagnostic and therapeutic services to evaluate and treat cardiac conditions without traditional surgery. Guthrie interventional cardiologists perform over 100 peripheral vascular interventions, such as carotid angioplasty and stenting, each year, with a 95% technical success rate.

Electrophysiology & Pacing
The heart's conduction system, the system that controls the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat, can develop problems that interfere with the heart's ability to function properly. Electrophysiology Laboratory team offers complete electrophysiology and pacing services for treatment of arrhythmias – from palpitations and syncope to atrial fibrillation to more specialized rhythm abnormalities.

Cardiac Surgery
Surgery plays an important role in a comprehensive cardiac program. Whatever the patient's needs, they can be met by the Guthrie’s cardiac surgery team. Guthrie’s Cardiac Surgery team provides a comprehensive scope of surgical procedures for the treatment of diseases of the heart and chest. Commonly treated conditions include ischemic heart disease, ventricular aneurysms, valve dysfunction, rheumatic heart disease, cardiac arrhythmia, trauma, cardiac tumors and infection.

Thoracic Surgery
Providing the advanced surgical techniques and oncologic therapies, thoracic surgery at Guthrie is dedicated to the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of non-cardiac diseases of the chest. We are able to apply the modern techniques of minimally invasive procedures including video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) to many disease processes for the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer and other chest diseases.

Vascular & Endovascular Surgery
Guthrie’s Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery offers a full spectrum of services – from life-saving procedures to repair ruptured aneurysms to elective procedures to prevent stroke, provide relief from claudication and address symptoms of venous disease. The latest therapies and minimally invasive endovascular treatment are offered by our experienced vascular team.

Interviews with Dr. Larson