Sleep Apnoea Ups the Risk of Stroke, Cancer and Death

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Apr 15, 2014

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A latest study has linked moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnoea to an increased risk of stroke, cancer and death.

sleep apneaThe researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia studied 397 adults who are participating in the ongoing Busselton Health Study. They looked at the objective sleep data which was gathered in 1990 using a portable home sleep testing device.

The 20-year follow-up study found that those with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnoea were four times more likely to die (hazard ratio = 4.2), nearly four times more likely to have a stroke (HR = 3.7), three times more likely to die from cancer (HR = 3.4), and 2.5 times more likely to develop cancer. Hazard ratios are used to present results in clinical trials involving survival data and allow hypothesis testing.

According to the lead author Nathaniel S. Marshall, sleep apnoea is a common disease that has a powerful impact on public health because it greatly increases the risk of strokes, cancers and mortality from any cause.

Sleep apnoea is a common sleep disorder which involves repetitive episodes of complete or partial upper airway obstruction occurring during sleep. The results warn those with symptoms of sleep apnoea, such as loud and frequent snoring or silent pauses in breathing during sleep. It is advised that they should see a physician for a comprehensive sleep evaluation.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.



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