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Diabetes Standards of Care & Clinical Practice Resources

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The most common form of sleep-disordered breathing is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). An apnea is a temporary absence or cessation of breathing, lasting 10 or more seconds. With OSA, the upper airway collapses, obstructing air flow, even as the person makes an effort to breathe.

OSA is associated with comorbidities such as hypertension, obesity or overweight, memory problems, headaches, erectile dysfunction, and cardiovascular disease. In patients with diabetes, OSA increases the likelihood of worse glycemic control.

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Clinical Practice Recommendations

Recommendations for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

  • Assess patients for symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), including snoring, observed apnea during sleep, and daytime somnolence:
    • Consider using a standardized sleep apnea screening tool.
  • Refer patients who screen positive for OSA symptoms for further evaluation such as a sleep study.