Obstructive sleep apnea: Is it a biomarker of metabolic health in obesity

Nancy L. Mora Becerra, Bradley Needleman, Sabrena Noria, David Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Context The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) increases with obesity, and OSA has been linked to increased cardiovascular risk via hypoxemia and sleep disruption. Objective and Main Outcome Measure(s) We hypothesized that if OSA contributes to cardio-metabolic risk, then 1) obese individuals with OSA will have more cardio-metabolic disease, and 2) patients with OSA who are non-adherent to CPAP treatment will have a greater incidence of cardio-metabolic abnormalities. Design, setting and patients We prospectively recruited obese patients (n = 83; BMI 49 ± 9 kg/m2). All patients had polysomnography and were stratified by 1) the absence/presence of OSA, and 2) metabolic health. Detailed CPAP reports were analyzed for compliance and OSA severity in 38 subjects. Results OSA by polysomnography was present in 69% of patients. While 79% of patients with OSA and 54% without OSA were categorized as MAO (χ2 = 5.47, p < 0.02), when adjusted for age, gender and BMI this difference was not significant (p = 0.36). Insulin levels were higher in the OSA group, but when adjusted there was no significant difference (p = 0.350). In patients on CPAP therapy, there was a negative associative trend between OSA control (apnea-hypopnea index) and beta-cell function (HOMA-β) (r = −0.406, p = 0.076), but no association between CPAP compliance and AHI with age, BMI, glucose, insulin, adiponectin, or insulin resistance. Conclusions OSA is not independently associated with overall cardio-metabolic health and insulin resistance in obese patients, even when accounting for treatment compliance. The strongest predictors of the obese metabolic healthy phenotype in OSA patients are age, gender and BMI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalObesity Medicine
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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