Changes in Metabolic Biomarkers in Children With Obstructive Sleep Apnea

sleep apnea mask
sleep apnea mask
Obstructive sleep apnea treatment can impact metabolic alterations in children with obesity and OSA.

Effective treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may have a positive impact on lipid profiles and insulin resistance in children with obesity, according to a study published in Sleep Medicine.

Researchers randomly selected 113 children with obesity with and without OSA (mean age: 11.3±2.9; mean BMI: 27.06±4.05 kg/m2; 48.7% female) and placed them in 1 of 4 groups: no treatment, dietary intervention, surgical treatment of OSA, and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment. At baseline, only fasting glucose level differed between participants with and without OSA (P =.018).


Study results showed statistically significant differences between those treated surgically for OSA (P =.002), and those treated with CPAP (P =.024). Glucose values decreased significantly in those groups compared with individuals without OSA (magnitude of change: 5.728 and 6.589; P =.002 and .024, respectively). Statistically significant changes in C-reactive protein values (magnitude of change: 4.528; P =.036), cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (magnitude of change: 0.917; P=.008), and low-density lipoprotein/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (magnitude of change: 0.824; P=.004) ratios were also noted between those with OSA treated with CPAP and those without OSA. Lipid profiles improved significantly, and both normalization of plasma serum glucose and complete resolution of OSA were observed in patients with moderate-to-severe OSA after treatment with tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.

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The investigators concluded that OSA and obesity directly contribute to changes in metabolic and inflammatory markers and are sensitive to effective treatment modalities. In children with OSA with abnormal metabolic laboratory values, improved lipid levels and decreased insulin resistance were observed after effective treatment of OSA.


Alonso-Álvarez ML, Terán-Santos J, Gonzalez-Martinez M, et al; for the Spanish Sleep Network. Metabolic biomarkers in community obese children: effect of obstructive sleep apnea and its treatment [published online June 5, 2017]. Sleep Med. 2017;37:1-9.