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Chest. 2019 Oct;156(4):743-753. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2019.04.130. Epub 2019 May 22.

Incident Type 2 Diabetes in OSA and Effect of CPAP Treatment: A Retrospective Clinic Cohort Study.

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Department of Medicine, Queen Mary Hospital, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.
School of Nursing, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.
Department of Medicine, Queen Mary Hospital, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China. Electronic address:



The relationship between OSA and glucose metabolism remains controversial. This retrospective study investigated the relationship between OSA and incident type 2 diabetes (T2D) in a clinic cohort of Chinese adults in Hong Kong, and the effect of long-term CPAP treatment.


Data for diagnosis of incident T2D and CPAP usage were obtained from the territory-wide electronic health administration system and records of protocolized evaluation of CPAP adherence at the sleep clinic. The relationship between baseline OSA and incident T2D and the effect of CPAP therapy were examined by Cox regression models. Risk of incident T2D over the continuum of apnea-hypopnea index was examined with cubic spline analysis.


Of 1,206 subjects with overnight sleep studies and clinical assessment in 2006 through 2013, 152 developed diabetes (median follow-up, 7.3 years). In fully adjusted models, untreated moderate or patients with severe OSA had higher risk of developing diabetes, hazard ratios 2.01 (95% CI, 1.06-3.81) and 2.62 (95% CI, 1.40-4.93) respectively, with a trend to plateau in those with severe OSA. No interaction was demonstrated between OSA and obesity. Regular CPAP use, which was attained in about one-third of subjects with moderate-severe OSA, was associated with reduction of diabetes incidence from 3.41 to 1.61 per 100 person-years, and of adjusted hazard risk to that of non-OSA.


OSA severity independently predicted incident diabetes. Regular long-term CPAP use was associated with reduced risk of incident T2D, after adjustment for various baseline metabolic risk factors and subsequent body weight change.


CPAP; OSA; incident type 2 diabetes; obesity

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