A new research at The University of Wisconsin shows that people who have asthma have a higher risk of developing sleep apnea.
Researchers involved in this study had used the data from The National Institute of Health (Heart, Lung and Blood Institute) has been following approximately 1,500 people since 1988 and have found that patients who had asthma were 1.70 times more likely to develop sleep apnea after eight years.
The connection between asthma and obstructive sleep apnea was even stronger among the participants who had developed asthma as children.
Mihaela Teodorescu, the MD, MS, assistant professor of medicine at the university said, "This is the first longitudinal study to suggest a causal relationship between asthma and sleep apnea diagnosed in laboratory-based sleep studies.”
Moreover, the duration of the asthma was found to have affected the chances of developing sleep apnea and for every five-year increase in asthma duration, the chances of developing OSA after eight years increased by 10 per cent.
The researchers focused on 773 cohort enrollees who did not have OSA when they joined the study and then determined whether their sleep apnea status had changed after eight years. The study adjusted for variables known to contribute to sleep apnea, including age, sex, body mass index (BMI), smoking, number of alcoholic drinks per week and nasal congestion. The study also took into account changes in BMI and the addition of new asthma cases.
During the eight-year follow-up period, 45 subjects developed asthma, and they were 48 percent more likely to develop new-onset sleep apnea. However, because the sample size was small, the increase lacked statistical significance.
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