Is there a link with cancer mortality?
A recent study looked at the connection between sleep apnea and increased risk of dying from cancer. Researchers studied 5,600 patients in sleep facilities in Spain and used an index to measure the severity of their sleep apnea. They found that patients who had oxygen saturation levels lower than 90 percent for more than 14 percent of their sleep had a greater than 50 percent risk of dying from cancer than those people who did not have sleep apnea. They also found that young male patients with sleep apnea had an even higher association with cancer mortality.
The researchers emphasized that they found only an association between sleep apnea and cancer mortality, and not that sleep apnea causes cancer.
[SLIDESHOW: 10 Tips to Improve Women’s Sleep]
What about risk of dementia in women?
A 2011 study found an association between women who have sleep apnea and an increased risk of dementia. The cause could be due to low oxygen intake levels during sleep, which can impair long-term memory, according to the researchers.
Researchers looked at 298 women who, at the start of the study, had no signs of dementia or mild cognitive impairment. Four years after the initial examination, sleep specialists monitored the women’s sleep with special equipment that measured brain activity, heart rhythm, leg movements, air flow, breathing and oxygen levels. Five years later the women were given cognitive tests. They found that 44.8 percent of women who suffered from disordered breathing associated with sleep apnea developed dementia or mild cognitive impairment, compared with 31.1 percent of women who did not have impaired breathing.
What about an overactive bladder in women?
A study presented at the European Respiratory Society’s Annual Meeting in Vienna, has found evidence connecting sleep apnea and overactive bladder in women.
Overactive bladder syndrome is a condition that causes a frequent need to urinate, incontinence and frequent awakening during the night to urinate. Researchers analyzed 72 female patients suspected of having sleep apnea, who had filled out a questionnaire about their bladder control. They found that 62 of the women had sleep apnea, and those in this group had a higher rate of bladder issues compared to those women without sleep apnea.
Rupert Shepherd B.Sc. (2012, March 14). "Sleep Apnea Treatment To Protect Against Heart Failure." Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/242900.php.
Robert George. (2010, May 18). "Sleep Apnea May Increase Insulin Resistance." Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/188969.php
n.p. (2012, June 15). "Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Linked To Obstructive Sleep Apnea." Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/246679.php