A new study found that patients diagnosed with sleep apnea have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes when undergoing surgery compared to being treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.

The results were published in the Journal of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. TriNetX, a global network of healthcare organizations driving research to accelerate the development of new therapies, enabled researchers at Hospital Quirónsalud Marbella and Hospital Campo de Gibraltar to leverage European and global real-world data for the study. 

In the study, the researchers note that, although CPAP remains the gold standard for the treatment of OSA, the metabolic effects of its long-term use remain unclear mainly because of the low adherence.

Using big data from international databases for two cohorts after five years of follow-up, researchers found that the risk of new-onset diabetes was lower in patients with OSA who underwent upper airway surgery compared with those who used CPAP alone. 

Researchers concluded that both treatments decreased the incidence of diabetes in OSA patients aged more than 18 years and with a follow-up of five years; however, upper airway surgery seemed to have a stronger preventive effect than CPAP.

“This is one of the first studies ever conducted with real-world data in the otolaryngology field in Spain,” says Rocio Diaz Sanchez, research director, Quirónsalud, in a release. “These findings will ultimately assist healthcare providers with making informed clinical decisions and personalized treatment plans for sleep apnea patients.”

“We are delighted for Quirónsalud, Fresenius-Helios, and all of the investigators involved in this first-of-its-kind real-world evidence study,” says Gema Hernandez Ibarburu, senior healthcare partnership manager EMEA at TriNetX in a release.

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