Snoring & Sleep Apnea Link - Sleep Better NW

High Blood Pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, And Sleep Apnea

Posted on November 5, 2013 by Dr. Erin Elliott

Do you have high blood pressure or type 2 Diabetes?

How are these two conditions related to sleep apnea? In June of 2013 the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) met in Baltimore and is now recommending that anyone with Type 2 Diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure) be evaluated for sleep apnea by a board certified sleep medicine physician.  Overwhelming clinical evidence has shown that patients with these two very common conditions are more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a very serious condition characterized by episodes of complete or partial airway obstruction during sleep.

Treating sleep apnea in diabetics helps to stabilize nighttime glucose levels and insulin sensitivity. A study from the University of Chicago showed that sleep apnea treatment may have as much of an effect as prescribed oral diabetes medications.  For those with hypertension, evidence has shown that by treating obstructive sleep apnea patients’ blood pressure has been lowered, especially those with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.  High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

If you have either type 2 Diabetes or high blood pressure, or both, please discuss with your doctor the possibility of your risk for obstructive sleep apnea.  Along with the cardinal signs of obstructive sleep apnea – snoring, witnessed cessations of breathing during sleep, and  daytime sleepiness – high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes should be looked at and taken seriously in regards to their link to obstructive sleep apnea.  You should then be referred to a Board Certified Sleep Physician for evaluation.