CPAP Treatment Leads to Improvement in Glucose Metabolism in Diabetes Patients

posted May 15, 2015, 2:34 PM by Admin SRSAN   [ updated May 22, 2015, 11:47 AM ]

In a recently published case-controlled study of 150 CPAP-treated patients with OSA and type 2 diabetes, blood pressure and HbA1c levels were compared to those in matched patients who did not undergo CPAP therapy. After 5 years of treatment, the HbA1c level in the CPAP-treated group was 8.2%  vs. 12.1%  in the control group - a statistically significant difference that was accompanied by significantly lower blood pressure in the therapy group.

Corroborating these results, a 2014 review of 22 studies investigating the effect of CPAP treatment on patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and  Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) or prediabetes found that 77% of the studies demonstrated significant changes in glucose metabolism with prolonged use of CPAP.  Statistically significant changes were observed in HbA1C levels, postprandial or nocturnal glucose, and insulin sensitivity or resistance. In 4 out of the 17 studies showing improvement in glycemic control, these changes only manifested after 3 or more months of daily CPAP use, where compliance was defined as 4 or more hours of CPAP  treatment per night. Based on these results, the review concluded that CPAP therapy may contribute to Type 2 diabetes prevention, as well as help already diagnosed patients slow down the progression of the disease. 


Gallegos, L., T. Dharia, and A. B. Gadegbeku. "Effect of continuous positive airway pressure on type 2 diabetes mellitus and glucose metabolism." Hospital practice (1995) 42.2 (2014): 31-37.

Guest, Julian F., et al. "Clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness of continuous positive airway pressure to manage obstructive sleep apnea in patients with type 2 diabetes in the UK." Diabetes Care 37.5 (2014): 1263-1271