Narrative Review: Obesity, Type 2 DM and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea—Common Bedfellows

Dimitar Sajkov, Bliegh Mupunga, Jeffrey J. Bowden, Christopher Langton, Nikolai Petrovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and type 2 DM mellitus (T2DM) share obesity as a major risk factor. Furthermore, these conditions share overlapping mechanisms including inflammation, activation of the autonomic nervous system, and hypoxia-linked endocrinopathy. Hence, the pathogenesis of the two conditions may be more closely related than previously recognised. This raises the question of whether treatment of OSA might assist resolution of obesity and/or T2DM. Here, we present a narrative review of the literature to identify clinical and scientific data on the relationship between obstructive sleep apnoea and T2DM control. We found there is a paucity of adequately powered well-controlled clinical trials to directly test for a causal association. While routine screening of all T2DM patients with polysomnography cannot currently be justified, given the high prevalence of sleep disordered breathing in the overweight/obese population, all T2DM patients should at a minimum have a clinical assessment of potential obstructive sleep apnoea risk as part of their routine clinical care. In particular, screening questionnaires can be used to identify T2DM subjects at higher risk of OSA for consideration of formal polysomnography studies. Due to morbid obesity being a common feature in both T2DM and OSA, polysomnography should be considered as a screening tool in such high-risk individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-459
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • DM
  • inflammation
  • obesity
  • obstructive sleep apnoea
  • polysomnography


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