HealthDay News — For patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and suboptimally controlled type 2 diabetes, use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for 6 months is associated with improved glycemic control and insulin resistance, according to a study published online February 24 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Elisabet Martínez-Cerón, from the Hospital Universitario La Paz in Madrid, and colleagues examined the effect of CPAP on glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels in patients with suboptimally controlled type 2 diabetes and OSA. Fifty patients with type 2 diabetes and OSA were randomized to CPAP (26 participants) or no CPAP (control, 24 participants) in a 6-month clinical trial; their usual diabetes medications remained unchanged.

The researchers found that the CPAP group achieved a greater decrease in HbA1c levels compared with the control group after 6 months. Compared with the control group, the CPAP group also had improved insulin resistance and sensitivity measures (in noninsulin users) and improved serum levels of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and adiponectin after 6 months. Mean nocturnal oxygen saturation and baseline IL-1β were independently related to 6-month change in HbA1c levels in patients treated with CPAP (P = 0.002).

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“Among patients with suboptimally controlled type 2 diabetes and OSA, CPAP treatment for 6 months, when compared to a control group, resulted in improved glycemic control and insulin resistance,” the authors write.


  1. Martinez-Ceron E, Barquiel B, Bezos A-M, et al. Effect of CPAP on Glycemic Control in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Type 2 Diabetes. A Randomized Clinical Trial. Am J Resp Crit Care. 2016; doi: 10.1164/rccm.201510-1942OC