A new study presented at the annual meeting for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that diabetics are more at risk for sleep apnea – a sleep disorder – and craving carbohydrates, according to a news release.
Researchers from New Jersey conducted a small study of 55 patients. Of those, more than half had diabetes. For those with diabetes, 82 percent had obstructive sleep apnea, commonly called OSA.
Additionally, researchers found that patients who suffer from OSA “were almost twice as likely to have high carbohydrate craving than patients without sleep apnea,” the press release states.
As a result, primary care physicians need to screen patients who have type 2 diabetes for OSA, the researchers recommended.
The study, conducted by the Sleep and Wellness Medical Associates LLC, is one of the first cross-sectional clinic-based studies to show an association between OSA and self-reported carbohydrate craving among patients with Type 2 diabetes, according to the news release.
“Current national guidelines on the management of diabetes need to consider sleep apnea as an independent risk factor more vigorously,” said principal investigator Dr. Anthony Cannon, American Diabetes Association regional president for central and southern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. “The management of patients with diabetes and or metabolic syndrome based solely on pharmacotherapy, exercise and nutritional modifications without taking into account the risk of sleep apnea may not lead to optimal outcomes for patients suffering from these chronic diseases.”
“Clearly, a greater awareness among physicians is needed, as sleep apnea is often undiagnosed by primary care physicians,” Cannon added. “Public policy can play a key role in the educational awareness of the association between sleep apnea and diabetes among both physicians and patients.”
Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine news release
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