Sleep Apnea May Be Linked To Nerve Damage In Diabetics
Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with nerve damage in people with type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.
The severity of this type of nerve damage — called diabetic peripheral neuropathy — is linked with the extent of sleep apnea and the degree of low blood oxygen levels that occur while patients sleep, the researchers found.
People with obstructive sleep apnea subconsciously awaken many times a night — even dozens of times an hour — because their airways close, disrupting their breathing. Those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy may have numbness or tingling in their extremities, or damage to their major organs.
The study of 234 adults with type 2 diabetes found that sleep apnea was independently associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy even after the researchers accounted for a number of other possible factors, including obesity, ethnicity, gender, age at diabetes diagnosis, and the length of time a person had diabetes.