Use of CPAP led to long-term improvements in blood pressure and blood glucose in patients with obstructive sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes, according to a five-year study in UK general practice. The article titled “Clinical Outcomes and Cost-effectiveness of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure to Manage Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes in the U.K.” published in Diabetes Care, summarized that CPAP treatment also improved patients quality of life at an acceptable cost to the National Health Service.
The study looked at the outcomes of 150 patients with type 2 diabetes who received treatment for obstructive sleep apnea with CPAP over five years, compared with those of 150 matched control patients who did not receive the treatment. The CPAP-treated patients had lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure at five years, and successively lowered HbA1c levels over five consecutive years, compared with the untreated patients. CPAP was also associated with improved quality of life over the five years, with a gain of 0.27 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) per patient.
At a cost to the National Health Service of £4,141 for each patient over five years, the researchers calculated the cost per QALY gained with CPAP was £15,337. The study’s authors, led by Dr Julian Guest at King’s College London, concluded: “Initiating treatment with CPAP in obstructive sleep apnea patients with type 2 diabetes leads to significantly lower blood pressure and better controlled diabetes and affords a cost-effective use of NHS resources.”