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Volume 15 No. 07
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The Impact of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Positive Airway Pressure Therapy on Metabolic Peptides Regulating Appetite, Food Intake, Energy Homeostasis, and Systemic Inflammation: A Literature Review

Saif Mashaqi, MD, FCCP1; M. Safwan Badr, MD, MBA, FCCP, FAASM2
1Division of Sleep Medicine, University of North Dakota School of Medicine – Sanford Health, Fargo, North Dakota; 2Department of Internal Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan


Sleep-related breathing disorders are very common and highly associated with many comorbid diseases. They have many metabolic consequences that impact appetite, energy expenditure, and systemic inflammation. These consequences are mediated through peptides (eg, ghrelin, leptin, adiponectin, resistin, apelin, obestatin, and neuropeptide Y).


We searched the literature (PubMed) for sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and metabolic peptides and included 15, 22, 14, 4 and 2 articles for ghrelin, leptin, adiponectin, resistin, and apelin respectively.


Our review of the published literature suggests that leptin levels seem to correlate with body mass index and adiposity rather than obstructive sleep apnea. Conversely, levels of adiponectin and ghrelin are influenced by obstructive sleep apnea alone. Finally, resistin and apelin seem to be not correlated with obstructive sleep apnea. Regarding positive airway pressure (PAP) impact, it seems that PAP therapy affected the levels of these peptides (mainly ghrelin).


There is significant controversy in the literature regarding the impact of SDB and PAP therapy on these metabolic peptides. This could be due to the lack of randomized clinical trials and the variability of the methodology used in these studies. Further research is needed to assess the impact of SDB and PAP therapy on the levels of these peptides and whether this impact is also related to body mass index and body fat composition.


Mashaqi S, Badr MS. The impact of obstructive sleep apnea and positive airway pressure therapy on metabolic peptides regulating appetite, food intake, energy homeostasis, and systemic inflammation: a literature review. J Clin Sleep Med. 2019;15(7):1037–1050.

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