Obstructive sleep apnoea, a risk factor for cardiovascular and microvascular disease in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: findings from a population-based cohort study

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OBJECTIVE To determine the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), microvascular complications, and mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes who subsequently develop obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) compared with patients with type 2 diabetes without a diagnosis of OSA.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS This age-, sex-, BMI-, and diabetes duration–matched cohort study used data from a U.K. primary care database from 1 January 2005 to 17 January 2018. Participants aged ≥16 years with type 2 diabetes were included. Exposed participants were those who developed OSA after their diabetes diagnosis; unexposed participants were those without diagnosed OSA. Outcomes were composite CVD (ischemic heart disease [IHD], stroke/transient ischemic attack [TIA], heart failure [HF]), peripheral vascular disease (PVD), atrial fibrillation (AF), peripheral neuropathy (PN), diabetes-related foot disease (DFD), referable retinopathy, chronic kidney disease (CKD), and all-cause mortality. The same outcomes were explored in patients with preexisting OSA before a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes versus diabetes without diagnosed OSA.

RESULTS A total of 3,667 exposed participants and 10,450 matched control participants were included. Adjusted hazard ratios for the outcomes were as follows: composite CVD 1.54 (95% CI 1.32, 1.79), IHD 1.55 (1.26, 1.90), HF 1.67 (1.35, 2.06), stroke/TIA 1.57 (1.27, 1.94), PVD 1.10 (0.91, 1.32), AF 1.53 (1.28, 1.83), PN 1.32 (1.14, 1.51), DFD 1.42 (1.16, 1.74), referable retinopathy 0.99 (0.82, 1.21), CKD (stage 3–5) 1.18 (1.02, 1.36), albuminuria 1.11 (1.01, 1.22), and all-cause mortality 1.24 (1.10, 1.40). In the prevalent OSA cohort, the results were similar, but some associations were not observed.

Patients with type 2 diabetes who develop OSA are at increased risk of CVD, AF, PN, DFD, CKD, and all-cause mortality compared with patients without diagnosed OSA. Patients with type 2 diabetes who develop OSA are a high-risk population, and strategies to detect OSA and prevent cardiovascular and microvascular complications should be implemented.


Original languageEnglish
Article numberdc192116
JournalDiabetes Care
Early online date28 Apr 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Apr 2020