Snorers at risk of sudden death
The interrupted night-time breathing of sleep apnea increases the risk of dying. Sleep apnea is a common problem in which one has pauses in breathing or suffers from shallow breaths during sleep.
Studies have linked sleep apnea during snoring to increased risk for death. Most studies were done in sleep centers rather than in the general community. A study published in the edition of Sleep suggests that the risk is present among all people with obstructive sleep apnea. The study researcher Nathaniel Marshall, from Woolcock Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, said that the size of the increased mortality risk is surprisingly large. The study showed a six fold increase, which means that having significant sleep apnea at age 40 gives you about the same mortality risk as somebody aged 57 who doesn't have sleep apnea.
For the study, Marshall's team collected data on 380 men and women - 40 to 65-years-old - who participated in the Busselton Health Study. Among these people, three had severe obstructive sleep apnea, 18 had moderate sleep apnea, and 77 had mild sleep apnea. The remaining 285 people did not suffer from the condition.
During 14 years of follow-up, about 33 percent of those with moderate to severe sleep apnea died, compared to 6.5 percent of those with mild sleep apnea and 7.7 percent of those without the condition. For patients with mild sleep apnea, the risk of death was not significant and could not be directly tied to the condition. People who have, or suspect that they have sleep apnea should consult their physicians about diagnosis and treatment options.
Another study by researchers from the University of Wisconsin has also shown that severe sleep apnea was associated with a three-fold increased risk of dying. In addition, for those with moderate to mild sleep apnea, the risk of death was increased 50 percent compared to people without sleep apnea.
The most popular citizen journalists' reports on merinews chosen automatically on the basis of views and comments
View more jobs