• Users Online: 47
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 5-6

The somnometabolic syndrome

1 Department of Endocrinology, Bharti Hospital, Karnal, Haryana, India
2 Department of Diabetology, Diabetes Obesity Thyroid Centre, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India
3 Department of Endocrinology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, India
4 Department of Endocrinology, Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Date of Submission31-May-2022
Date of Decision01-Jun-2022
Date of Acceptance01-Jun-2022
Date of Web Publication27-Jun-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sanjay Kalra
Department of Endocrinology, Bharti Hospital, Kunjpura Road, Karnal - 132 001, Haryana
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/bjem.bjem_8_22

Rights and Permissions

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and the various components of metabolic syndrome are closely interrelated. We propose the term somnometabolic syndrome to define the condition where OSA coexists with one or more components of metabolic syndrome. Such a definition reinforces the strong association between OSA and metabolic syndrome and will urge the clinician to screen and diagnose OSA in individuals with metabolic syndrome and vice versa. It is hoped that the usage of this new term will not only address the lacunae in screening and treatment of OSA in individuals with metabolic syndrome but will also foster collaboration and research among specialties managing OSA.

Keywords: Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, obstructive sleep apnea

How to cite this article:
Kalra S, Agrawal N, Bhattacharya S, Sahay R. The somnometabolic syndrome. Bangladesh J Endocrinol Metab 2022;1:5-6

How to cite this URL:
Kalra S, Agrawal N, Bhattacharya S, Sahay R. The somnometabolic syndrome. Bangladesh J Endocrinol Metab [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 May 30];1:5-6. Available from: https://www.bjem.org/text.asp?2022/1/1/5/348388

  Introduction Top

The metabolic syndrome is a slippery eel to catch. First identified by Reaven in 1988 as syndrome X, it has been the subject of much attention.[1] Numerous definitions have emerged, some glucocentric, others focusing on insulin resistance, and yet others barocentric or based on anthropometry.[2] Evidence linking the various components of metabolic syndrome to one another and also to adverse cardiovascular outcomes has accumulated since then.

  Rationale of a Syndrome Top

There is increasing appreciation of newer associations in pathophysiology and clinical presentation of “viscerometabolic” health and diabetes. These include nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and male late-onset hypogonadism, to name a few.[3] These conditions may occur independently or in association with other components of metabolic syndrome such as hypertension and dyslipidemia. These comorbidities also influence the choice of therapy for diabetes so that atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and premature mortality can be prevented.

Such associations are especially significant in the context of OSA. OSA is a sleep-related breathing disorder characterized by repetitive episodes of complete or partial collapse of the upper airway during sleep, dry mouth or sore throat upon awakening, and cognitive impairment.[4] Although primarily considered a sleep-related disorder, OSA has multiple metabolic facets. OSA is associated with insulin resistance and contributes to cardiovascular morbidity. Untreated OSA, and other sleep disorders, can impair glucose metabolism and adipocyte function. It can lead to “refractory” or difficult-to-manage diabetes and hypertension.[5]

  Limitations of Current Terminology Top

The current terminologies, OSA and metabolic syndrome, do not convey any commonality. Perhaps, because of this, OSA and metabolic syndrome are not infrequently approached separately in clinical practice. This leads to suboptimal screening strategies, which delays diagnosis and prevents the optimization of comorbid conditions.

  SomnoMetabolic Syndrome Top

We, therefore, suggest the term “somnometabolic syndrome” to highlight the intricate and multifaceted relationship between OSA and metabolic syndrome. It is challenging to propose a unitary definition of somnometabolic syndrome, as no unified description exists for metabolic syndrome itself. Nonetheless, we define somnometabolic syndrome as a clinical condition where OSA is associated with one or more of the various components of metabolic syndrome, as defined by multiple international authorities. It must be noted that the various components of somnometabolic syndrome, listed in [Box 1], may be comorbid conditions, but also often mimic each other (e.g., late-onset hypogonadism and OSA, heart failure, and OSA).[5]

  Advantages of Novel Terminology Top

A defining characteristic of OSA is the presence of daytime symptoms; on the other hand, somnometabolic syndrome is a more inclusive term. The term “somnometabolic syndrome” sensitizes health-care professionals to screen persons with metabolic dysfunction for OSA. It also reminds them to view OSA as a multisystemic, metabolic malady rather than an upper respiratory or sleep disorder. Such a nomenclature alerts the treating clinician to screen individuals with metabolic dysfunction for OSA. The term “syndrome z” has been used in the literature for this entity but fails to portray the constituent components.[6]

Screening strategies for metabolic and vascular disease are well defined. However, many physicians are unaware of how easy it is to screen for OSA. The STOP and STOP-Bang questionnaires are simple 4- and 8-item tools used for the outdoor patient.[7],[8] Filled by the patient, they are objective and require just “yes” or “no” answers. Other tools are also available and can be used for more detailed evaluation.

The diagnosis of OSA can be substantiated in a nonintrusive manner using an overnight home sleep study test.[9] Once this is done, appropriate treatment can be instituted to achieve symptomatic relief and metabolic optimization.

Somnometabolic syndrome, as a phrase, reminds us to evaluate a person comprehensively with OSA and reemphasizes its close metabolic connect. It also assists in explaining the importance of managing OSA and motivating affected individuals to accept and adhere to the therapy. The term encourages teamwork between various medical specialties that manage OSA. It stimulates discussion and debate, as we hope this editorial will do, and create novel ideas and activities which help our profession achieve its overarching aim ensuring optimal health for all.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Reaven GM. Banting lecture 1988. Role of insulin resistance in human disease. Diabetes 1988;37:1595-607.  Back to cited text no. 1
Parikh RM, Mohan V. Changing definitions of metabolic syndrome. Indian J Endocrinol Metab 2012;16:7-12.  Back to cited text no. 2
Cho LW. Metabolic syndrome. Singapore Med J 2011;52:779-85.  Back to cited text no. 3
Patel SR. Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Ann Intern Med 2019;171:C81-96.  Back to cited text no. 4
Kim SD, Cho KS. Obstructive sleep apnea and testosterone deficiency. World J Mens Health 2019;37:12-8.  Back to cited text no. 5
Castaneda A, Jauregui-Maldonado E, Ratnani I, Varon J, Surani S. Correlation between metabolic syndrome and sleep apnea. World J Diabetes 2018;9:66-71.  Back to cited text no. 6
Chung F, Abdullah HR, Liao P. STOP-bang questionnaire: A practical approach to screen for obstructive sleep apnea. Chest 2016;149:631-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
Chung F, Yegneswaran B, Liao P, Chung SA, Vairavanathan S, Islam S, et al. STOP questionnaire: A tool to screen patients for obstructive sleep apnea. Anesthesiology 2008;108:812-21.  Back to cited text no. 8
Serrano Alarcón Á, Martínez Madrid N, Seepold R. A minimum set of physiological parameters to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea syndrome using non-invasive portable monitors. A systematic review. Life (Basel) 2021;11:1249.  Back to cited text no. 9


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article
Rationale of a S...
Limitations of C...
SomnoMetabolic S...
Advantages of No...

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded177    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal