Subject objective: The formation and accumulation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) has been implicated in the progression of age-related diseases such as diabetes mellitus and atherosclerosis. We hypothesize that AGE concentrations may be increased in subjects with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition associated with increased oxidative stress.
Methods: One hundred nineteen nondiabetic patients with OSA and 234 age-matched healthy controls and 134 patients with type 2 diabetes were recruited for participation in the study. Serum AGEs were assayed by competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using a polyclonal rabbit antisera raised against AGE-RNase.
Results: Serum AGEs were increased in OSA subjects, as compared with controls, but were less increased than the AGEs of patients with type 2 diabetes (control: 3.22 +/- 0.54 unit per mL; OSA: 3.68 +/- 0.39; diabetes mellitus: 4.11 +/- 0.99; analysis of variance p < .01). In the subjects with OSA, serum AGEs correlated with the duration of nocturnal desaturation (r = 0.21, p = .025) and plasma total 8-isoprostane concentration, a biochemical marker of oxidative stress (r = 0.22, p = .015), but not with fasting glucose level. On general linear model univariate analysis, the association between serum AGEs and 8-isoprostane was independent of age, sex, body mass index, smoking status, and glucose.
Conclusion: Serum levels of AGEs were increased in nondiabetic subjects with OSA and were associated with the severity of OSA. Whether increased AGE formation contributes significantly to the high cardiovascular risk associated with OSA remains to be determined.