Patients with type 2 diabetes who have sleep apnea may be able to lowertheir glucose levels by treating their breathing disorder. The small study,reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine (February 28, 2005), included25 patients with type 2 diabetes diagnosed with sleep apnea who underwentstandard treatment for the condition. The participants were predominatelymale, with an average age of 50, and severely obese, with an average bodymass index of 42.
For the study, the patients were required to undergo continuous positive airwaypressure (CPAP). The test involved patients going to bed wearing a maskover the nose or nostrils that is attached to a machine that blows air throughthe upper respiratory tract. The researchers found with the CPAP test that theparticipants'overall hemoglobin levels dropped 0.5%, a similar reductionreached with medication, according to study author James Herdegen, MD.