Study refines link between sleep apnea, other diseases

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

BALTIMORE – Untreated sleep apnea can contribute to a range of conditions associated with heart disease and diabetes, according to a new study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers. The study found increases in blood sugar, fat levels, stress hormones, and blood pressure in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. The findings, published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, may help to refine the scientific debate over whether sleep apnea is just a manifestation of obesity, or an active contributor to associated health problems like diabetes and heart disease, researchers say. The study also emphasizes the importance of CPAP as a treatment solution: Researchers found that withdrawing CPAP in sleeping patients increased levels of free fatty acids, glucose and cortisol—all conditions linked to diabetes.