8. Medical Co-morbidities Associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

  1. Douglas B. Kirsch MD, FAASM4,5
  1. Emerson M. Wickwire PhD1,2 and
  2. Scott G. Williams MD3

Published Online: 11 OCT 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118764152.ch8

Sleep Medicine in Neurology

Sleep Medicine in Neurology

How to Cite

Wickwire, E. M. and Williams, S. G. (2013) Medical Co-morbidities Associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, in Sleep Medicine in Neurology (ed D. B. Kirsch), John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118764152.ch8

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

  2. 5

    Division of Sleep Neurology, Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Associates, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, USA

  3. 3

    Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Womack Army Medical Center, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 11 OCT 2013
  2. Published Print: 7 OCT 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444335514

Online ISBN: 9781118764152



  • cardiovascular consequences;
  • medical co-morbidities;
  • mortality;
  • obstructive sleep apnea (OSA);
  • positive airway pressure (PAP)


This chapter reviews the medical co-morbidities of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The authors seek to provide an overview of the most germane findings pertaining to the medical consequences of OSA, with an eye to real-world application. They review the implications of the most robust findings in seven key domains: mortality, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular events, endocrine dysfunction, neurocognitive dysfunction, psychiatric co-morbidity, and other sleep disorders. Because it remains the most commonly prescribed and considered most effective treatment for OSA, they also review the effect of treatment with positive airway pressure (PAP) on these consequences of OSA. Both oxygen desaturation and AHI have been associated with insulin resistance and glucose intolerance even after controlling for body mass index (BMI). Cognitive behavioral treatment can be effective for patients experiencing co-morbid insomnia and poor PAP adherence.