As it turns out, people with sleep apnea who have short breathing interruptions while asleep are at higher risk of death than those with longer interruptions, says a new study by researchers from Oregon Health & Science University and Boston’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital.
Sleep apnea is linked to a number of health conditions, including high blood pressure and heart disease. It occurs when your throat muscles sporadically relax and block your airway during sleep. The new research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that both male and female patients with the shortest apneas were 31 percent more likely to die during the study’s decade of follow-up.
Knowing this distinction can help physicians give better-informed recommendations about treatment and potentially convince more patients to consistently use their continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, regardless of the severity of their apnea.
Source: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine