According to new research presented at CHEST 2006, the annual scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) and diabetes mellitus (DM) may be associated.

Using the electronic charts of patients referred for sleep studies over one year, researchers from Quillen College of Medicine in Tennessee identified 127 patients with DM. Data collected included age, gender, and body mass index, as well as the presence of the kidney condition microalbuminuria; microvascular complications, such as retinopathy/neuropathy; or macrovascular complications, such as coronary artery disease and stroke.

Overall, OSAS was directly related to microalbuminuria, microvascular, and macrovascular complications. Researchers concluded that, despite being independent diseases, OSAS might directly contribute to DM complications.