Despite the fact that 94 percent of doctors are aware of the association between sleep apnea and diabetes, only 47 percent of them screen for the condition in their patients with diabetes.
As a result, about 85 percent of sleep apnea cases among diabetics go undiagnosed, according to Virginia Zamudio-Lange, RN, MSN, CDE, a speaker last week in Washington at the 35th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.
Zamudio-Lange reported that in a sleep apnea screening protocol developed at Alamo Diabetes Team in San Antonio, diabetes educators asked patients about snoring and fatigue as they made preliminary diabetes assessments.
Patients who reported apnea-like symptoms were categorized as high-risk and referred for further evaluation or possible treatment.
The San Antonio study followed 83 patients over a six-month period. Sixty-six percent of patients with diabetes fell into the high-risk classification.