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Sleep Apnea link with Diabetes

Results of a study indicate that there a a statistically significant association between type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) during REM sleep. “Type 2 diabetes is a multifactorial disorder. REM-related OSA and s metabolic effects need to be nvestigated in more depth, and this can provide another unique avenue for intervention and control of type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Kamran Mahmood, one of the principal nvestigators of the study.

Mahmood and colleagues from the University of Illinois in Chicago evaluated a multi-ethnic sample of 1008 patients-including Caucasians 16.9 percent), African Americans 66.9 percent) and Hispanics (14.9 percent)-for OSA using polysomnography, an evaluation of brain waves and other body functions during sleep. OSA occurs when the soft palate narrows during sleep closing off the airways causing breathing to stop for a few seconds or more. Normal breaths resume with a snort or choking sound and the sleeper temporarily wakes up. These continuous interruptions throughout the night cause drowsiness during the day.

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, one of the two major phases of sleep, is when dreaming occurs. As the name implies, it is characterized by rapid eye movement, but other than lung movements, no other body muscles move during this phase of sleep. It is thought to be necessary for memory consolidation. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes was 30.1 % in patients with OSA compared to 18.6%in patients without OSA, the investigators report in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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