People who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are likely to develop diabetes, and the risk increases if they have a hereditary proclivity, say neurology specialists at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

A person with apnea and diabetes risk factors are likely to develop the condition because the sleep disorder causes metabolic changes by increasing insulin resistance, says Rossana Huerta Albarran. He added that poor sleep causes weight gain because the brain sends signals that generate an increase in appetite and the need to consume carbohydrates; this raises cholesterol levels due to metabolic changes that the body generates. Sleep apnea can not only cause diabetes, it is responsible for the increase of cholesterol, triglycerides, and hypertension, Albarran says.