Sleep Wellness Institute Establishes Diabetes Protocol

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Recent research has shown a strong link between type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea. A common sleep apnea treatment has been shown to have a significant impact on helping patients to manage their diabetes. The Sleep Wellness Institute has established a protocol to help physicians and diabetes patients who also have sleep apnea to better manage both disease states.

The Sleep Wellness Institute, Inc., the state's largest independent sleep disorders diagnosis and treatment center, has put in place a formal protocol for helping people with type 2 diabetes to manage their condition more effectively and reduce hospitalizations.

According to President Mark Stoiber of the Sleep Wellness Institute, recent highly credible research has established a strong link between type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition that causes people to snore excessively and stop breathing overnight.

"We always felt the link was there based on observations of our OSA patient population,"
Stoiber said. "Now both the International Diabetes Federation and the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort have established solid links between the two diseases."

The studies showed that up to 58% of people with type 2 diabetes have sleep disordered breathing. And 40% of OSA patients were found to have diabetes. Studies also show that regular use of the most common form of treatment for OSA, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) improves diabetics' glucose sensitivity and reduces their hemoglobin A1c level, which is an important measure of how well they are managing their disease.

The American Diabetes Association recommends a hemoglobin A1c level of less than 7%. The Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality estimates that for every one percent decrease in the hemoglobin A1c level, there is a 14-20% decrease in hospitalization related to diabetes.

"Our protocol begins with our CPAP compliance rate which is significantly higher than the national average," Stoiber explained. Nationally, only about 55% of CPAP patients are compliant with their therapy. At the Sleep Wellness Institute, the figure is 86%. Stoiber attributed that success rate to regular compliance calls to CPAP patients by Sleep Wellness Institute CPAP therapy specialists.

Other factors in the Sleep Wellness Institute diabetes protocol are:

  • Compliance can be monitored wirelessly for completely accurate and objective data.
  • Any CPAP mask can be exchanged for another during the first 30 days, improving the ability to fit patients with the most comfortable mask, thereby enhancing compliance.
  • Every three months, the Sleep Wellness Institute advises diabetic patients to contact their personal physician for a hemoglobin A1c test.
  • The Sleep Wellness Institute provides the patient's personal physician with a progress report and tracks the number of hemoglobin A1c tests the patient has had over the past 12 months.

"We believe that this protocol will allow us to assist physicians and their patients to manage their diabetes more effectively, while also treating the patient's OSA," Stoiber said. "The result will be decreased hospitalizations and lower healthcare costs.


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Steve Gardner
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