Sleep apnea in and of itself is a hassle for sufferers, but the condition is often co-morbid with others, such as obesity or diabetes.
But sleep apnea that is present along with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, can present additional problems for those affected by the disorders. A study scheduled to be presented at The Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting in Houston, Texas explored the co-existence of sleep apnea and PCOS, and found a link to prediabetes.
Sleep apnea is defined as experiencing breathing interruptions during sleep, which can inhibit a sufferer’s ability to achieve a full night’s sleep, as well as affecting the sleep of those who share a bed or room with a person suffering from sleep apnea — which is also linked with obesity. PCOS is a slightly more difficult to pin down disorder of the endocrine system, often causing obesity as well as cysts on the ovaries.
University of Chicago professor David Ehrmann, MD and colleagues examined more than 170 obese women. Of the subjects, 121 of the 171 were diagnosed with PCOS, a condition present in up to 10% of the female population. All women in the study were subject to a sleep study to determine if they suffered from “obstructive sleep apnea,” in addition to or in the absence of PCOS.
In the obese women, sleep apnea was far more prevalent among PCOS sufferers than the women not diagnosed with the condition, at 48% to 36%. Additionally, PCOS sufferers with sleep apnea were far more likely (44% versus 22%) to have prediabetes.
“In the last few years, sleep apnea has been found to be a frequent comorbidity [coexisting condition] with PCOS, and our study shows that women who have both conditions are at greatest risk of metabolic disturbances such as prediabetes.”
The PCOS, sleep apnea and prediabetes link has not yet been published in a medical journal.