18 Jul

Type 2 Diabetes and Sleep Apnea (i.e. I’m screwed)

There is a new, alarming (to me) study that suggests a link between Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea:

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Task Force on Epidemiology and Prevention has warned that recent research demonstrates that type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are closely related…

The study is quick to point out that this is very preliminary, and requires a lot more testing and study. Of course, they easy link between the two is obesity: People who are over weight are prone to OSA, and those who eat enough sugar-rich foods to become over weight are on the track towards type 2 diabetes. I am assuming this study takes this into fact, but it is always dangerous to make assumptions.

The study also makes screening suggestions:

While people with OSA should be routinely screened for metabolic disease and type 2 diabetes as screening tests are inexpensive and easy to conduct, people with diabetes should be screened for OSA particularly when they present classical symptoms such as witnessed apneas, heavy snoring or daytime sleepiness and poor workplace performance.

I think that this is very responsible. And is directed right at medical insurance companies. Insurance companies are normally fast to pay for diabetes screening/treatment. But OSA is another matter. Sleep studies are expensive, as are CPAP machines and supplies. This study says up front that the insurance companies really should pay for these to avoid further complications. I think that is a very responsible tack to take.

As for me, I’m in trouble. I most definitely have OSA, and it went untreated for a long time. I am also pre-diabetic. The combination of the two could lead to big health problems in my future. 🙁

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