(HealthDay News) — Patients with type 2 diabetes who develop obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and other diabetes-related complications, according to a study recently published in Diabetes Care.

Nicola J. Adderley, PhD, MPH, from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and colleagues used a UK primary care database (Jan. 1, 2005, to Jan. 17, 2018) to identify individuals (≥16 years) with type 2 diabetes. Diagnosis of OSA after diagnosis of diabetes was assessed. The analysis included 3667 individuals with a diagnosis of OSA and 10,450 matched participants without OSA.

The researchers found that for patients with diabetes who develop OSA versus those who do not, the adjusted hazard ratio for composite CVD (ischemic heart disease [IHD], stroke/transient ischemic attack [stroke/TIA], heart failure [HF]) was 1.54 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.32 to 1.79). Other hazard ratios were as follows: 1.55 for IHD (95% CI, 1.26 to 1.90), 1.67 for HF (95% CI, 1.35 to 2.06), 1.57 for stroke/TIA (95% CI, 1.27 to 1.94), 1.10 for peripheral vascular disease (95% CI, 0.91 to 1.32), 1.53 for atrial fibrillation (95% CI, 1.28 to 1.83), 1.32 for peripheral neuropathy (95% CI, 1.14 to 1.51), 1.42 for diabetes-related foot disease (95% CI, 1.16 to 1.74), 0.99 for referable retinopathy (95% CI, 0.82 to 1.21), 1.18 for chronic kidney disease stage 3 to 5 (95% CI, 1.02 to 1.36), 1.11 for albuminuria (95% CI, 1.01 to 1.22), and 1.24 for all-cause mortality (95% CI, 1.10 to 1.40). Among patients with prevalent OSA, findings were similar.

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“Patients with type 2 diabetes who develop OSA are a high-risk population, and strategies to detect OSA and prevent cardiovascular and microvascular complications should be implemented,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.


Adderley NJ, Subramanian A, Toulis K, et al. Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular and Microvascular Disease in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: Findings From a Population-Based Cohort Study. Diab Care. doi: 10.2337/dc19-2116