Obstructive sleep apnoea in diabetes: Does it matter?

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Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is very common in patients with Type 2 diabetes (T2D), which is not surprising considering that obesity is a common risk factor for both conditions. In general population studies, OSA has been shown to be associated with several comorbidities including increased risk of road traffic accidents, T2D, hypertension and lack of nocturnal dipping of blood pressure, hyperlipidaemia, increased inflammation, increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality, increased risk of atrial fibrillation, worse quality of life, and erectile dysfunction. However, the impact of OSA on diabetes-related vascular and metabolic outcomes remains unclear. Furthermore, the impact of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment in patients with T2D is also unclear. This unclarity regarding the impact of OSA and CPAP in patients with T2D has possibly contributed to the lack of screening for OSA in patients with T2D in the UK despite the high prevalence of OSA in patients with T2D. In this commentary, I provide an overview about OSA with a particular focus on its role and impact in patients with T2D.

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