Sleep-disordered breathing and impaired glucose metabolism in normal-weight and overweight/obese individuals: the Sleep Heart Health Study

Diabetes Care. 2008 May;31(5):1001-6. doi: 10.2337/dc07-2003. Epub 2008 Feb 11.


Objective: To characterize the association between sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and impaired fasting glucose (IFG), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), combined IFG and IGT, and occult diabetes in individuals of different body habitus.

Research design and methods: Cross-sectional analysis of 2,588 participants (aged 52-96 years; 46% men) without known diabetes. SDB was defined as respiratory disturbance index >or=10 events/h. IFG, IGT, occult diabetes, and body weight were classified according to recent accepted guidelines. Participants with and without SDB were compared on prevalence and odds ratios for measures of impaired glucose metabolism (IGM), adjusting for age, sex, race, BMI, and waist circumference.

Results: SDB was observed in 209 nonoverweight and 1,036 overweight/obese participants. SDB groups had significantly higher adjusted prevalence and adjusted odds of IFG, IFG plus IGT, and occult diabetes. The adjusted odds ratio for all subjects was 1.3 (95% CI 1.1-1.6) for IFG, 1.2 (1.0-1.4) for IGT, 1.4 (1.1-2.7) for IFG plus IGT, and 1.7 (1.1-2.7) for occult diabetes.

Conclusions: SDB was associated with occult diabetes, IFG, and IFG plus IGT, after adjusting for age, sex, race, BMI, and waist circumference. The magnitude of these associations was similar in nonoverweight and overweight participants. The consistency of associations across all measures of IGM and body habitus groups and the significant association between SDB and IFG plus IGT, a risk factor for rapid progression to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and mortality, suggests the importance of SDB as a risk factor for clinically important levels of metabolic dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Weight
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Glucose Intolerance / blood*
  • Glucose Intolerance / epidemiology
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Overweight / blood
  • Overweight / physiopathology*
  • Polysomnography
  • Reference Values
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / physiopathology*