Health Risks of Diabetes and Sleep Apnoea

As many as 50% of people with type 2 diabetes also have sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea and type 2 diabetes are both associated with several serious health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and obesity.

High Blood Pressure

1 in 3 people with high blood pressure also have sleep apnoea. In patients who take multiple medications to control their blood pressure, that number is much higher. 
More than 70% of people with diabetes have high blood pressure. Studies demonstrate that lowering blood pressure reduces the risk of heart disease and other complications in patients with diabetes.

Treatment for sleep apnoea may help to lower blood pressure levels and increase heart health.

Heart Disease and Stroke

Sleep apnoea may place patients at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. 1 in 2 people with heart failure or atrial fibrillation suffer from sleep apnoea.  Heart disease and stroke account for 65% of deaths in patients with diabetes. Cardiovascular events occur more often and at an earlier age in patients with diabetes and are more likely to lead to death. Treatment of sleep apnoea is associated with a lowered risk of heart disease.


Studies have shown that sleep is important in weight management. Sleep apnoea disrupts sleep, which can make losing weight more difficult. People with sleep apnoea often feel very tired and lack energy, which can lead to a vicious cycle of poor sleep, lack of exercise, and weight gain.

Overweight/obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The increase in the number of people with type 2 diabetes appears to be mainly related to the increase in overweight/obesity.

If you are trying to lose weight and think you might have sleep apnoea, being tested and treated for sleep apnoea can be an important step toward your goal.

Talk to your Doctor

Treating sleep apnoea may reduce the risk of developing other serious health conditions by helping to lower blood pressure, improve heart function, and manage glucose levels. Treatment of sleep apnoea has been shown to improve a person's overall quality of life and increase energy throughout the day.

The message is simple - if you have sleep apnoea, you need to get treated!