No data exist as to the role of ethnicity in the associations between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), sleep duration, and metabolic dysfunction.
To examine links between OSA, objectively measured habitual sleep duration, and fasting glucose in U.S. ethnic groups.
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) and white participants (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). In contrast, sleep duration was not significantly associated with abnormal fasting glucose after considering the influence of OSA.
This large multiethnic study confirmed previous reports of an independent association between OSA and metabolic dysfunction, and suggested that this association may vary by ethnicity.