Sleep apnea can manifest as loud snoring, but it’s repeated oxygen deprivation during sleep that’s associated with several serious health problems, according to three studies presented at a European congress on sleep apnea. respiratory diseases.
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Snoring disturbs the night of many of us. But beyond the inconvenience they cause, they are sometimes the sign of a more serious health problem: syndrome sleep apnea-hypopnea (Sahos). People who suffer from it are usually heavy snorers but, on top of that, they stop breathing for more than ten seconds, several times a night, thus depriving the body of oxygen. Apneas are considered severe when they occur more than 30 times per hour of sleep. This syndrome affects 1 to 5% of adult men.
Sleep apnea is an important topic for theEuropean Lung Foundationit presents tkings studies presented (not yet published) occasionally of the congress of theEuropean Respiratory Society. The latter show an association between sleep apnea and the occurrence of several serious health problems, including cancer.
” It is already known that patients with obstructive sleep apnea have an increased risk of cancer, but it is unclear whether or not this is due to Sahos itself or to risk factors cancer related, such as obesity, cardiometabolic diseases or lifestyle. Our results show that oxygen deprivation due to Sahos is independently associated with cancer “says Andreas Palma researcher from Uppsala University.
Sleep apnea, a cancer risk factor to be taken into account
Andreas Palm and his collaborators compared the severity of sleep apnea between 2,000 patients who were diagnosed with cancer and 2,000 others who did not. It appears that cancer patients have a more severe form of obstructive sleep apnea; on average, 32 apneas per hour for cancer patients against 30 apneas for others. Scientists have observed this association for cancer of the lungs, prostate and the melanomas aggressive.
” The results of this study underscore the need to consider untreated sleep apnea as a risk factor for cancers and for physicians to be aware of the possibility of cancer when treating patients with Sahos. However, the extension of cancer screening to all patients with Sahos is neither justified nor recommended by the results of our study.. says Andreas Palm.
This study only highlights an association, not a causal link, between sleep apnea and cancer. In other words, sleep apnea does not cause cancer. If the main asset is the number of participants, it does not take into account other factors implicated in cancer such as diet or activity physical. Two other studies presented at this same congress show an association between sleep apnea, cognitive decline and the occurrence of clots blood.
” These three studies show disturbing associations between obstructive sleep apnea and important diseases that affect survival and quality of life Concludes Winfried Randerath, a sleep specialist at the University of Cologne, who was not involved in the studies.
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