Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: The effects of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) on insulin resistance are not clear. Trials have found conflicting results and no appropriate control groups have been used. METHODS: Forty-two men with known type 2 diabetes and newly diagnosed OSA (>10 dips/h in oxygen saturation of >4%) were randomised to receive therapeutic (n = 20) or placebo CPAP (n = 22) for 3 months. Baseline tests were performed and repeated after 3 months. The study was double blind. RESULTS: Results are expressed as mean (SD). CPAP improved the Epworth sleepiness score significantly more in the therapeutic group than in the placebo group (-6.6 (4.5) vs -2.6 (4.9), p = 0.01). The maintenance of wakefulness test improved significantly in the therapeutic group but not in the placebo group (+10.6 (13.9) vs -4.7 (11.8) min, p = 0.001). Glycaemic control and insulin resistance did not significantly change in either the therapeutic or placebo groups: HbA1c (-0.02 (1.5) vs +0.1 (0.7), p = 0.7, 95% CI -0.6% to +0.9%), euglycaemic clamp (M/I: +1.7 (14.1) vs -5.7 (14.8), p = 0.2, 95% CI -1.8 to +0.3 l/kg/min(1000)), HOMA-%S (-1.5 (2.3) vs -1.1 (1.8), p = 0.2, 95% CI -0.3% to +0.08%) and adiponectin (-1.1 (1.2) vs -1.1 (1.3), p = 0.2, 95% CI -0.7 to +0.6 microg/ml). Body mass index, bioimpedance and anthropometric measurements were unchanged. Hours of CPAP use per night were 3.6 (2.8) in the treatment group and 3.3 (3.0) in the placebo group (p = 0.8). There was no correlation between CPAP use and the measures of glycaemic control or insulin resistance. CONCLUSION: Therapeutic CPAP does not significantly improve measures of glycaemic control or insulin resistance in men with type 2 diabetes and OSA.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





969 - 974


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Body Composition, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Double-Blind Method, Glycated Hemoglobin A, Humans, Insulin Resistance, Male, Middle Aged, Sleep Apnea, Obstructive, Wakefulness