IGF-1: a potential biomarker for efficacy of sleep improvement with automatic airway pressure therapy for obstructive sleep apnea?

Vincent Mysliwiec, Jessica Gill, Panagiotis Matsangas, Tristin Baxter, Taura Barr, Bernard J. Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Positive airway pressure (PAP) reverses obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)-related hypoxia and restores slow wave sleep (SWS). Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a neuropeptide that facilitates the repair of neurons from hypoxia and improves sleep regulation. IGF-1 concentrations are lower in OSA, and likely increase following PAP treatment; however, this relationship has not yet been determined in a younger cohort of OSA patients. Methods: This was a prospective, observational pilot study of 58 young men, who were diagnosed with OSA and provided PAP as an intervention. Adherence to PAP treatment over 3 months was objectively measured, as well as changes in the apnea–hypopnea index (AHI). Serum concentrations of IGF-1and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured and correlated with PAP adherence. Results: IGF-1 concentrations at baseline were similar between PAP adherent 55.5 ± 34.4 ng/ml and PAP nonadherent participants 61.2 ± 27.1 ng/ml (p = 0.4), with the overall mean IGF-1 concentration of 59.0 ± 29.9 ng/ml. At follow-up, adherent participants had concentrations of IGF-1 that were significantly higher 128 ± 59.5 ng/ml compared to nonadherent participants 86.0 ± 47.4 ng/ml (p < 0.01). Increases in IGF-1 concentrations were significantly associated with reductions in AHI (Spearman’s rho = −0.409, p = 0.015). Conversely, CRP concentrations did not differ between baseline and follow-up measurements in either group. Conclusions: Adherence to PAP treatment leads to significant increases in IGF-1 concentrations in young men with OSA. While an objective measure of adherence exists, PAP usage does not allow for measure of sleep improvement. IGF-1 may serve as a potential biomarker for the efficacy of PAP therapy on improved sleep.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1221-1228
Number of pages8
JournalSleep and Breathing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Adherence
  • Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1)
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Positive airway pressure (PAP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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