The combination of metabolic syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been termed "syndrome Z." The prevalence of both OSA and metabolic syndrome is increasing worldwide, in part linked to the epidemic of obesity. Beyond their epidemiologic relationship, growing evidence suggests that OSA may be causally related to metabolic syndrome. We are only beginning to understand the potential mechanisms underlying the OSA-metabolic syndrome interaction. Although there is no clear consensus, there is growing evidence that alterations in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) due to repetitive hypoxia, inflammation, and generation of adipokines may be implicated in the changes associated with both OSA and metabolic syndrome. Whether some or all of these metabolic alterations mechanistically link OSA to metabolic syndrome remains to be proven, but it is an area of intense scientific interest.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism