Association between glucose metabolism and sleep-disordered breathing during REM sleep

Hassan A. Chami, Daniel J. Gottlieb, Susan Redline, Naresh M. Punjabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Rationale: Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) has been associated with impaired glucose metabolism. It is possible that the association between SDB and glucose metabolism is distinct for non-REM versus REM sleep because of differences in sleep-state-dependent sympathetic activation and/or degree of hypoxemia. Objectives: To characterize the association between REM-related SDB, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance in a communitybased sample. Methods:Across-sectional analysis that included 3,310 participants from the Sleep Heart Health Study was undertaken (53% female; mean age, 66.1 yr). Full montage home-polysomnography and fasting glucose were available on all participants. SDB severity during REM and non-REM sleep was quantified using the apnea-hypopnea index in REM (AHIREM) and non-REM sleep (AHINREM), respectively. Fasting and 2-hour post-challenge glucose levels were assessed during a glucose tolerance test (n = 2,264). The homeostatic model assessment index for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was calculated (n = 1,543). Linear regression was used to assess the associations of AHIREM and AHINREM with fasting and post-prandial glucose levels and HOMA-IR. Measurements and Main Results: AHIREM and AHINREM were associated with fasting glycemia, post-prandial glucose levels, and HOMA-IR in models that adjusted for age, sex, race, and site. However, with additional adjustment for body mass index, waist circumference, and sleep duration, AHIREM was only associated with HOMA-IR (β = 0.04; 95% CI, 0.1-0.07; P = 0.01), whereas AHINREM was only associated with fasting (β = 0.93; 95% CI, 0.14-1.72; P = 0.02) and post-prandial glucose levels (β = 3.0; 95% CI, 0.5-5.5; P = 0.02). Conclusions: AHIREM is associated with insulin resistance but not with fasting glycemia or glucose intolerance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1118-1126
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Epidemiology
  • Glucose intolerance
  • Insulin resistance
  • REM sleep
  • Sleep apnea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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