Associations between obstructive sleep apnea, sleep duration, and abnormal fasting glucose the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis

Jessie P. Bakker, Jia Weng, Rui Wang, Susan Redline, Naresh M. Punjabi, Sanjay R. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rationale: No data exist as to the role of ethnicity in the associations between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), sleep duration, and metabolic dysfunction. Objectives: To examine links between OSA, objectively measured habitual sleep duration, and fasting glucose in U.S. ethnic groups. Methods: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis is a multisite community-based study that conducted polysomnography and wrist actigraphy. In 2,151 subjects (1,839 in fully adjusted models), the apnea-hypopnea index was used to classify OSA as none (0-4.9/h), mild (5-14.9/h), or moderate to severe (≥15/h). Actigraphic sleep duration was classified as short (≤5 h/night), intermediate (>5 and <8 h/night), or long (≥8 h/night). Subjects were classified as having normal fasting glucose (<100 mg/dl and no hypoglycemic medication use) or abnormal fasting glucose (≥100 mg/dl and/or hypoglycemic medication use). Measurements and Main Results: The sample was 45.8% male, age 68.5±9.2 (mean±SD) years, and 27.3% African American, 37.2% white, 11.8% Chinese, and 23.8% Hispanic. The prevalence of abnormal fasting glucose was 40.2%. Relative to subjects without apnea, moderate-to-severe OSA was significantly associated with abnormal fasting glucose in African Americans (odds ratio, 2.14; 95% confidence interval, 1.12-4.08) andwhiteparticipants (odds ratio, 2.85; 95% confidence interval, 1.20-6.75), but not among Chinese or Hispanic subjects, after adjusting for site, age, sex,waist circumference, and sleep duration (P = 0.06 for ethnicity-by-OSA severity interaction). Incontrast, sleep durationwas not significantly associated with abnormal fasting glucose after considering the influence of OSA. Conclusions: This large multiethnic study confirmed previous reports of an independent association between OSA and metabolic dysfunction, and suggested that this associationmay vary by ethnicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-753
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2015


  • Ethnicity
  • Insulin resistance
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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