There is new research out there connecting sleep apnea with fat in blood. This link is between obstructive sleep apnea and triglycerides, which is a type of fat that is found in blood. The study found that participants with more severe sleep apnea and reductions in blood oxygen concentrations were more likely to also have elevated concentrations of triglycerides in their blood. 

Here’s what we know

We know that obstructive sleep apnea increases a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular conditions and depression. But to make matters worse, the study found something more alarming. 

We know that persons with obesity are at high risk for sleep apnea and other complications. But that isn’t who this increase in triglycerides in blood affected most. The study showed that the most striking effects were seen in those who were not overweight. Sleep apnea is common and does occur in individuals who are not overweight, but it is not often recognized until the person’s health is severely impaired. 

Test your patients for sleep apnea

The key takeaway from this study is that we must screen our patients for sleep apnea. Beyond screening for sleep apnea, though, we have to make sure that we are identifying this in individuals who are not overweight too. In particular, we should look at lean men who are 40 years old and older. 

Take the next step in improving your patients’ health and well-being by screening everyone for sleep apnea.