Examining the poorly understood link between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and type 2 diabetes complications, researchers identified specific measures of low blood oxygenation that are associated with impaired kidney function and diabetic nephropathy. The study by Linong Ji, MD, and colleagues, Peking University People’s Hospital and Peking University Health Science Center (Beijing, China), is published in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, a peer-reviewed journal. The article is available free on the journal’s website until May 22, 2016.

In the article “Association of Diabetic Microvascular Complications and Parameters of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes,” the researchers describe the use of overnight sleep monitoring with measurement of respiratory parameters including the apnea hypopnea index, oxygen desaturation index, oxygen saturation, and the total time oxygen saturation was below 90% or 85%. They report which parameters of nocturnal hypoxemia were more closely linked to diabetic microvascular complications such as renal disease.

“Adequate sleep has been a topic of discussion recently, and this study highlights the association of sleep apnea with microvascular disease associated with diabetes,” says DTT editor-in-chief Satish Garg, MD, professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of Colorado Denver, in a release. “To some extent this finding may be associated with obesity, which is a common occurrence with type 2 diabetes.”