Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Treatment, Glycemia, and Diabetes Risk in Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Comorbid Cardiovascular Disease

Kelly A. Loffler, Emma Heeley, Ruth Freed, Rosie Meng, Lia R. Bittencourt, Carolina C. Gonzaga Carvalho, Rui Chen, Michael Hlavac, Zhihong Liu, Geraldo Lorenzi-Filho, Yuanming Luo, Nigel McArdle, Sutapa Mukherjee, Hooi Shan Yap, Xilong Zhang, Lyle J. Palmer, Craig S. Anderson, R. Doug McEvoy, Luciano F. Drager, SAVE Substudy Investigators

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35 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: Despite evidence of a relationship among obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), metabolic dysregulation, and diabetes, it is uncertain whether OSA treatment can improve metabolic parameters. We sought to determine effects of long-term continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment on glycemic control and diabetes risk in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and OSA. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Blood, medical history, and personal data were collected in a substudy of 888 participants in the Sleep Apnea cardioVascular Endpoints (SAVE) trial in which patients with OSA and stable CVD were randomized to receive CPAP plus usual care, or usual care alone. Serum glucose and glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) were measured at baseline, 6 months, and 2 and 4 years and incident diabetes diagnoses recorded. RESULTS: Median follow-up was 4.3 years. In those with preexisting diabetes (n = 274), there was no significant difference between the CPAP and usual care groups in serum glucose, HbA1c, or antidiabetic medications during follow-up. There were also no significant between-group differences in participants with prediabetes (n = 452) or new diagnoses of diabetes. Interaction testing suggested that women with diabetes did poorly in the usual care group, while their counterparts on CPAP therapy remained stable. CONCLUSIONS: Among patients with established CVD and OSA, we found no evidence that CPAP therapy over several years affects glycemic control in those with diabetes or prediabetes or diabetes risk over standard-of-care treatment. The potential differential effect according to sex deserves further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1859-1867
Number of pages9
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
  • Glycemia
  • Diabetes Risk
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Comorbid Cardiovascular Disease
  • Sleep Apnea cardioVascular Endpoints (SAVE) trial


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