ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Needling Away Your Headaches With Acupuncture
Naprapathy: A Hands-On Approach to Pain Management
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
Drinking Cuts Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
Too Few Screened for Abdominal Aneurysm, Study Says
CANCER
Sharing Cancer Info May Be Empowering
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
CAREGIVING
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
DIABETES
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Mediterranean Diet May Help Prevent Depression
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Added Sugars in Diet Threaten Heart Health
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pregnant Rural Women More at Risk
Sunken, Unexploded Bombs Pose Cancer Risk
City Kids Find the Breathin' Is Easier Elsewhere
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
FITNESS
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Marathoners Go the Distance on Heart Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Fish Oil Supplements Help With Heart Failure
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Fussy Babys Could Be Out Of Your Control
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
SENIORS
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
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Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea

By Karen Pallarito
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Here's a wake-up call to the millions of American men and women with type 2 diabetes: Snoring at night or nodding off during the day may be symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening problem affecting one out of three diabetics.

Based on strong preliminary evidence linking the two disorders, global health experts are encouraging physicians to assess their diabetic patients for sleep apnea symptoms and to screen sleep apnea sufferers for metabolic disease. The recommendation comes from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Task Force on Epidemiology and Prevention.

"It is probably too early to see any concrete evidence of changes in practice, but there is little doubt that awareness of the importance of screening people with diabetes and people with sleep apnea for the other condition is rising," said Dr. Jonathan Shaw, associate professor at the International Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia, and lead author of the IDF task force consensus statement, which was issued last June.

Sleep apnea occurs when a person's airway becomes blocked during sleep. It's usually caused by the collapse of soft tissue in the back of the throat during sleep. Between snores, breathing stops for a period of 10 seconds or longer, and this pattern repeats itself multiples times over the course of a night.

Not only does it deprive the person of a good night's sleep, but it may increase the risk for high blood pressure and heart disease, according to the IDF.

Obstructive sleep apnea affects just 2 percent of women and 4 percent of men in the general population, the IDF noted. But it's much more prevalent among diabetics.

In a recent report in the journal Endocrine Practice, researchers examined data from 279 men and woman with type 2 diabetes. Overall, 36 percent had obstructive sleep apnea.

Men with diabetes were particularly vulnerable. Below age 45, they had more than a one-third increased chance of developing sleep apnea, and that risk doubled above age 65. For women below 45, the chances of having sleep apnea were slim: between 5 percent and 8 percent. Females 65 and older, however, had a one-third increased chance of having the sleep disorder, the study found.

Interestingly, being heavier or taking more medicines were not predictors of sleep apnea. The only correlations were age and gender.

"It suggests that once you're diabetic, there's such a powerful disposition to obstructive sleep apnea that the other contributing variables are simply less important," said Dr. Daniel Einhorn, clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego, and a medical director at the Scripps Whittier Institute for Diabetes in La Jolla, Calif.

Diagnosing sleep apnea is critical, he noted, because treating the sleep disorder can make a huge difference in the patient's diabetes. "Successful treatment of sleep apnea has a greater impact to improve blood sugar than any single thing you can do in a diabetic," Einhorn said.

Previous research has also shown that people with mild to moderate sleep apnea were twice as likely to develop high blood pressure, compared to those without the sleep disorder. Those with severe sleep apnea were three times as likely to have high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Still, experts say further research into the diabetes-sleep apnea connection is necessary.

"We need to understand the mechanisms involved, so we can derive better therapeutic and prevention approaches," said Dr. Paul Zimmet, professor and director of the International Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia.

The most common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP. Before sleep, the person places a mask over his or her nose or nose and mouth. It is connected by tubing to a CPAP machine that uses air pressure to keep the airway open, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Typically, before insurers will pay for this therapy, the person's sleep disorder must be documented in a sleep lab study.

Einhorn is currently conducting a follow-up study to assess easier, less expensive and more readily available methods of diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea, such as the use of a portable at-home screening device.

"There's no way that you'll have large-scale screening if everyone has to go through an overnight study at a sleep lab," he said. "It's completely unaffordable."

More information

The International Diabetes Federation has more facts on sleep apnea and diabetes.



SOURCES: Jonathan Shaw, M.D., MRCP, FRACP, associate professor, International Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia; Paul Zimmet, A.O., M.B., M.D., Ph.D., FRACP, FRCP, professor and director, International Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia; Daniel Einhorn, M.D., FACP, FACE, clinical professor of medicine, University of California, San Diego, and medical director, Scripps Whittier Institute for Diabetes, La Jolla, Calif., and vice president, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, June 2008, International Diabetes Federation Task Force on Epidemiology and Prevention, IDF Consensus Statement on Sleep Apnea and Type 2 Diabetes; American Sleep Apnea Association

Last Updated: Jan. 08, 2009

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