Progression of diabetic retinopathy linked to obstructive sleep apnea

Study identifies those at greater risk of developing diabetic retinopathy

People who suffer from both Type 2 diabetes and undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are at a greater risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, new research led by the University of Birmingham has found.

Previous studies had shown a link between OSA and diabetic retinopathy. However, prior to this new research, published in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, there had been no published studies assessing the impact of OSA on the progression of diabetic retinopathy in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Patients were assessed for diabetic retinopathy using retinal imaging, while OSA was assessed using a home-based cardio-respiratory device. Results showed that diabetic retinopathy prevalence was higher in patients with OSA (42.9%) compared to those without OSA (24.1%).

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