Effect of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure on Glucose and Lipid Profiles in Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnoea: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Filippo Cattazzo, Martino F. Pengo, Alice Giontella, Davide Soranna, Grzegorz Bilo, Antonella Zambon, Janaka Karalliedde, Luigi Gnudi, Miguel Ángel Martinez-Garcia, Pietro Minuz, Carolina Lombardi, Gianfranco Parati, Cristiano Fava*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background and aim: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is the most effective therapy for symptomatic obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). However, uncertainty remains about the effectiveness of CPAP in improving OSA-related metabolic dysregulation. This meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) aimed to investigate whether CPAP, compared to other control treatments, could improve glucose or lipid metabolism in OSA patients. Methods: Relevant articles were searched in three different databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE and Web of Science) from inception to 6th Feb 2022 through specific search terms and selection criteria. Results: From a total of 5553 articles, 31 RCTs were included. CPAP modestly improved insulin sensitivity as determined by mean fasting plasma insulin and Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance reduction of 1.33 mU/L and 0.287, respectively. In subgroup analyses pre-diabetic/type 2 diabetic patients as well as those with sleepy OSA showed a greater response to CPAP. Regarding lipid metabolism, CPAP was associated with a mean total cholesterol reduction of 0.064 mmol/L. In subgroup analyses, the benefit was higher in patients that showed more severe OSA and oxygen desaturations at the baseline sleep study as well as in younger and obese subjects. Neither glycated haemoglobin nor triglycerides, HDL- and LDL-cholesterol were reduced by CPAP. Conclusion: CPAP treatment may improve insulin sensitivity and total cholesterol levels in OSA patients but with low effect size. Our results suggest that CPAP does not substantially improve metabolic derangements in an unselected OSA population, but the effect may be higher in specific subgroups of OSA patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-376
Number of pages7
JournalArchivos de Bronconeumologia
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • CPAP
  • Glucose levels
  • Insulin resistance
  • Lipids levels
  • Meta-analysis
  • OSA

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