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: A study was undertaken to establish the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) in men with type 2 diabetes. METHODS: Men with type 2 diabetes from local hospital and selected primary care practitioner databases received questionnaires about snoring, apnoeas, and daytime sleepiness based on the Berlin questionnaire. Selected respondents had overnight oximetry to establish whether they had OSA. Comparisons of oximetry were made with those from a previous general population study. HbA1c results were collected. RESULTS: 1682 men were sent questionnaires, 56% of whom replied. 57% scored as "high" and 39% as "low" risk for OSA; 4% were already known to have OSA. Oximetry was performed in 240 respondents from both risk groups: 31% of the "high" and 13% of the "low" risk group had significant OSA (more than 10 >4% Sao(2) dips/hour or Sao(2) tracing consistent with OSA). These results were verified by detailed sleep studies. Extrapolation of the oximetry data to the questionnaire respondent population suggests that 23% had OSA. Comparison of the oximetry results with men from a previous general population study (using only more than 10 >4% Sao(2) dips/hour to define OSA) showed the prevalence of OSA is significantly higher in this diabetes population (17% v 6%, p<0.001). Multiple linear regression revealed BMI and diabetes as significant independent predictors of OSA. Following correction for BMI (which explained 13% of the variance in OSA), diabetes explained a further 8% of the variance (p<0.001). There was a low correlation between OSA severity and HbA1c in the subgroup recruited from the hospital database (r = 0.2, p = 0.006) which remained significant after allowing for obesity (p = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: OSA is highly prevalent in men with type 2 diabetes; most are undiagnosed. Diabetes itself may be a significant independent contributor to the risk of OSA.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





945 - 950


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Analysis of Variance, Body Mass Index, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, England, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Oximetry, Prevalence, Risk Factors, Sleep Apnea, Obstructive, Surveys and Questionnaires