The Particulars: Sleep apnea has been shown in clinical research to be associated with abnormal glucose metabolism. It has yet to be determined whether treating sleep apnea benefits glucose metabolism.
Data Breakdown: Participants in a study with sleep apnea and prediabetes were randomized to 2 weeks of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment or placebo. They were then monitored for glucose tolerance, insulin secretion, and insulin sensitivity. Patients who underwent CPAP experienced significant improvements in glucose levels after an oral glucose challenge without affecting insulin secretion, suggesting improved insulin sensitivity.
Take Home Pearl: In patients with pre-diabetes, adhering to CPAP treatment for obstructive sleep apnea throughout the night appears to improve glucose levels and thus may reduce cardiometabolic risk.