Background: Obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and hyperglycemia are prevalent in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). Metabolic syndrome, however, is defined by visceral fat obesity plus at least two of these factors. However, whether OSAS contributes to the development of metabolic syndrome has not been defined. We investigated whether the components of metabolic syndrome were associated with OSAS in nonobese patients.
Methods: We investigated the occurrence of hypertension, dyslipidemia, and hyperglycemia in 42 men with OSAS and 52 men without OSAS matched for age, body mass index (BMI), and visceral fat accumulation.
Results: Although serum levels of triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and diastolic BP did not differ significantly between the two groups, fasting blood glucose (111 +/- 6 mg/dL vs 93 +/- 3 mg/dL) [mean +/- SE] and the percentage of hypertensive patients (45% vs 15%) were significantly higher in the group with OSAS. In addition, a significantly higher percentage of patients with OSAS (19% vs 4%) had at least two of the following: hypertension, hyperglycemia, and dyslipidemia. Logistic regression analysis showed that the apnea-hypopnea index value was the predictor of number of metabolic syndrome parameters such as hypertension, hyperglycemia, and dyslipidemia, while BMI and lowest arterial oxygen saturation during sleep did not.
Conclusion: Independent of visceral fat obesity, OSAS was associated with hypertension, dyslipidemia, and hyperglycemia. It is possible that OSAS may predispose even nonobese patients to the development of metabolic syndrome.