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Why Do Heart Bypass Patients Have Insulin Resistance?

Posted Nov 09 2010 6:39am

Here’s a study that I came across that you’d probably read and say, “that’s interesting,” and go on to reading another abstract. In my mind, I’m jumping up and down, waving my arms, screaming, “look for sleep apnea!”

Researchers showed that heart bypass patients had insulin and glucose profiles that were similar to diabetics. Not too surprising if you have undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea. We know that untreated obstructive sleep apnea can cause or aggravate heart disease, insulin resistance, obesity, hypertension, and high cholesterol, just to name a few. If cardiologists screened all their patients for sleep apnea, I don’t know if our health care system can handle the huge increase in people needing sleep studies. Perhaps expanding the role of home-based studies including titration should be considered for a certain subset of this population.

Given what we know about sleep apnea, do you think everyone with heart disease should be screened for sleep apnea? Please enter your comments in the text area below.

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