Sleep-related intermittent hypoxemia and glucose intolerance: A community-based study

Sakurako Tanno, Takeshi Tanigawa, Isao Saito, Wataru Nishida, Koutatsu Maruyama, Eri Eguchi, Susumu Sakurai, Haruhiko Osawa, Naresh M. Punjabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Intermittent hypoxemia is a fundamental pathophysiological consequence of sleep-disordered breathing and may alter glucose metabolism. To characterize the association between sleep-related intermittent hypoxemia and glucose metabolism, overnight pulse-oximetry and an oral glucose tolerance test were completed in a cohort of middle-aged and older Japanese adults. Methods: The study sample consisted of 1836 community-dwelling Japanese (age, 30-79 years; women, 65.5%; mean body mass index, 23.1 kg/m2). The oxygen desaturation index (ODI) was quantified during sleep using a ≥3% oxygen desaturation threshold and categorized as normal (<5.0 events/h), mild (5.0-15.0 events/h), and moderate to severe (≥15.0 events/h). The independent associations between the ODI and the prevalence of impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, diabetes, and two metrics of insulin resistance [homeostasis model assessment index for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and Matsuda index] were examined. Results: Compared with subjects with an ODI < 5 events/h, the adjusted odds ratio for prevalent impaired fasting glucose, glucose intolerance, and diabetes for subjects with an ODI ≥15.0 events/h were 1.27 (95% confidence interval, 0.72-2.23), 1.69 (1.03-2.76), and 1.28 (0.59-2.79), respectively. Both HOMA-IR and Matsuda index were significantly associated with the severity of sleep-related intermittent hypoxemia as assessed by the ODI (P for trend = 0.03 and 0.007, respectively). Conclusion: Among middle-aged and older Japanese adults, sleep-related intermittent hypoxemia is associated with glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, and may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1212-1218
Number of pages7
JournalSleep medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Epidemiology
  • Impaired glucose tolerance
  • Oral glucose tolerance test
  • Oximetry
  • Sleep apnea
  • Sleep-disordered breathing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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