High Prevalence of Sleep Apnea in Patients With Acromegaly

Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is common in patients with acromegaly and is often diagnosed before the diagnosis of acromegaly.

Patients with acromegaly show a high prevalence of sleep apnea, with sleep apnea often diagnosed before acromegaly, according to a study published in Endocrine.

The current study sought to evaluate the prevalence of sleep apnea in a multicenter, cross-sectional Swedish cohort study of 259 patients with acromegaly. During follow-up visits, patients completed questionnaires regarding a variety of health conditions and habits, including previous diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. The Epworth Sleepiness Scale was used to measure daytime sleepiness. Clinicians referred any patient who seemed as if they might have undiagnosed sleep apnea to sleep disorder testing.

Of the 259 participants included, 29% (n=75) had been diagnosed with sleep apnea prior to the start of the study, with 57% (n=43) of these being diagnosed with sleep apnea before their acromegaly diagnosis.  The mean duration from sleep apnea diagnosis to acromegaly diagnosis was 4 years. 

Following sleep studies and clinical assessment, an additional 20 participants were diagnosed with sleep apnea, bringing the overall prevalence of sleep apnea among participants to 37%. A higher risk of sleep apnea was associated with higher waist circumference, BMI, index finger circumference, and serum insulin-like growth factor-1 levels. The risk for sleep apnea was not significantly associated with age, gender, or smoking.

Researchers conclude that “sleep apnea should be considered in all patients with acromegaly, especially among those with poor biochemical control or high BMI. We also suggest vigilance for acromegaly among patients with sleep apnea, since sleep apnea may be an early sign of acromegaly.”

Related Articles


Vouzouneraki K, Franklin KA, Forsgren M, et al. Temporal relationship of sleep apnea and acromegaly: a nationwide study [published online July 31, 2018]. Endocrine. doi: 10.1007/s12020-018-1694-1