WEDNESDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- People with diabetes are at increased risk for obstructive sleep apnea, which appears to boost their craving for carbohydrates, a new study suggests.
Because unrestricted carbohydrates can harm someone with diabetes, the findings point to the need for primary care doctors to screen for obstructive sleep apnea in patients with type 2 diabetes, the study authors said.
The researchers checked 55 people for diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea and carbohydrate cravings, and found that more than half of them had diabetes. Eighty-two percent of the diabetic patients had obstructive sleep apnea, and diabetic patients had nearly double the risk of carbohydrate cravings as those without diabetes.
The investigators also found that patients with sleep apnea were nearly twice as likely to have high carbohydrate cravings as patients without the sleep disorder.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat blocks the airway, which causes people to stop breathing while they are sleeping. The condition disrupts sleep and can cause daytime fatigue, and increases the risk of other health problems such as heart disease and stroke.
The study was scheduled for presentation Wednesday at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Boston.
The findings offer an indication of the degree that sleep apnea can affect carbohydrate craving in people with diabetes, said study co-investigator Dr. Mahmood Siddique, clinical associate professor of medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, N.J.
"Previous studies have shown that sleep deprivation may lead to changes in hormones that regulate appetite and hunger," Siddique said in a news release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "These hormonal changes can lead to significant craving for high-calorie carbohydrates such as cookies, candy, breads, rice and p
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