People who suffer from type 2 diabetes or hypertension should be evaluated for sleep apnea, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).
Sleep apnea, also known as obstructive sleep apnea, is a common breathing disorder that affects many people whilst they sleep .
Anyone can develop this condition but it is more common among middle-aged individuals who are overweight, and have type 2 diabetes and/or high blood pressure (hypertension), with 70% of type 2 diabetes patients and 30-40% of people with hypertension thought to have sleep apnea.
Treatment of sleep apnea has been shown to improve memory, alertness, and cognitive function.
Because it is known to have a direct impact on blood glucose levels, sensitivity to insulin, and blood pressure, experts also believe that treating the condition can help in the management of both hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
“Type 2 diabetics and people with hypertension are much more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than other people, and as a result should immediately discuss their risk for sleep apnea with a sleep specialist,” AASM president, M. Safwan Badr, said.
“Diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea from a board-certified sleep medicine physician will promote improvement in these conditions.
“Treating sleep apnea in diabetics improves night time glucose levels and insulin sensitivity”, Badr said, adding that evidence also shows that sleep apnea treatment lowers both night time and daytime blood pressure .
The AASM’s recommendations were released this week at SLEEP 2013, the 27th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

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