Type 2 Diabetes? Hypertension? Get Tested for Sleep Apnea!

If you suffer from Type 2 diabetes or hypertension, you should be evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by a physician who is board-certified in sleep medicine. This is a recommendation recently issued for the first time by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). This new guideline could have a significant impact on diagnostic procedures for tens of millions of adults in the United States. Type 2 diabetes and hypertension are all-too-common conditions among U.S. adults, and their numbers are rising alarmingly. More than 25 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and approximately 90-95 percent of these are cases of Type 2 diabetes. Hypertension -- high blood pressure -- affects a third of American adults, roughly 67 million people.

OSA frequently is found in people with Type 2 diabetes and with cardiovascular conditions, including hypertension. Estimates vary, but it is believed that approximately half of patients with high blood pressure also have OSA. The overlap may be even higher with Type 2 diabetes, with a majority of these patients also suffering from the sleep disorder.

There is an enormous body of research to suggest that people who suffer from OSA are at significantly increased risk for diabetes and hypertension, and vice versa. The relationships of OSA to diabetes and hypertension are complicated and appear to be multi-directional. All three conditions share risk factors, particularly obesity. In addition to exploring the consequences of shared risk factors, scientists are also investigating other biological connections between sleep apnea, hypertension and Type 2 diabetes. We don't know all of the connections between these three health issues, but we do know that in the cases of both Type 2 diabetes and hypertension, the presence of OSA is extremely common and can complicate treatment if left unattended. OSA, like many sleep disorders, continues to be seriously under diagnosed. Those with undiagnosed sleep apnea are at particular risk for complications of diabetes and hypertension.

Read full article at The Huffington Post...

Author of the article: 
Dr. Michael J. Breus
The Huffington Post