Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can increase the risk of cancer in women, but not in men, research shows.
Greek scientists analyzed data from 19,000 people to investigate whether there was a link between OSA and cancer.
They found that cancer was more common in women with sleep apnea than in women without sleep apnea. However, the trend did not exist with men.
The findings remained true when other carcinogenic factors were taken into account, such as high BMI, smoking status and alcohol consumption.
Millions of people around the world have OSA, which can lead to snoring.
Snoring, feeling tired or having morning sickness could be associated with cancer, researchers in Germany have warned after a survey of more than 19,000 people
Experts said the findings do not alert people who snore and warned that it is not the first time the link to cancer has been made.
Lifestyle changes can combat the condition, often caused by being overweight, smoking or drinking too much alcohol.
Obstructive sleep apnea, where the airways narrow during sleep and interrupts normal breathing, can have a major impact on the quality of life.
HOW IS RESTRICTED ON LIFE AND IS IT CANCER?
People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may not be aware of the fact that they have the condition, because the symptoms are usually noticed by a family member or partner when they hear the person snoring.
During a nocturnal episode, the lack of oxygen drives your brain to get you out of deep sleep – either for a lighter sleep or to be awake – so that your airway is opened again and you can breathe normally.
These repeated sleep interruptions can cause the person to feel very tired during the day, causing performance issues at work or at school.
Poorly controlled OSA can also increase the risk of developing high blood pressure (hypertension), stroke or heart attack, developing an irregular heartbeat – such as atrial fibrillation, developing type 2 diabetes – although it is unclear whether this is the result of an underlying cause such as obesity.
Research has shown that someone who has been asleep because of OSA may be up to 12 times more likely to be involved in a car accident.
A study by researchers at the University of Sydney Nursing School found that people with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea can have a 250% chance of getting cancer and more than three times more likely to die from the disease.
Another survey, of approximately 1,500 government workers in Wisconsin, showed that people with the most respiratory abnormalities & n. 39 die five times as fast as cancer people than people without the sleep disorder, the New York Times reports.
It affects, according to estimates, between four and ten percent of people in the UK and in the US $ 22 million region.
The NHS states that OSA can lead to high blood pressure, a stroke, a heart attack or the development of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki led the study using data from 5,789 women and 13,767 men.
The study examined how often the volunteers experienced partial or complete airway closure per hour of sleep.
The experts also looked at how often the participants' blood oxygen levels were less than 90% overnight.
The data showed that 388 people – two percent – of the participants had been diagnosed with a serious form of cancer.
This included 160 women, 2.8 percent of the total women and 228 men, which is 1.7 percent of all men in the group.
Scientists suggested that a lower level of oxygen in the blood caused by limited breathing could play a role in cancer development.
Dr. Athanasia Pataka, co-author of the study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, said: & This field of research is very new.
& # 39; And the effects of gender on the link between OSA and cancer have not been studied in detail before.
& # 39; Our study of more than 19,000 people shows that the severity of OSA is linked to a cancer diagnosis.
& # 39; This link was especially strong with the women we analyzed, and less with the men. & # 39; She called for more tests to confirm the results.
The researchers also warned that the results do not prove that OSA causes an increased risk of cancer.
Professor Anita Simonds, consultant in respiratory and sleep medicine at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, was skeptical about the study.
She said: & # 39; In this study, overall cancer prevalence was low at just two percent, therefore OSA patients should not be alerted by this study. & # 39;
Men with OSA are more likely to sleep, snore or stop breathing in the middle of the night.
While women are rather tired, have insomnia, are depressed and have a headache in the morning.
WHAT IS OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNE?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the walls of a person's throat relax and become narrow during sleep, blocking their airways.
This interrupts normal breathing, with symptoms such as loud snoring, noisy and heavy breathing, and repeated episodes when breathing is interrupted by panting and sniffing.
OSA affects between four and ten percent of people in the UK. About 22 million have been affected in the US.
During an episode, the lack of oxygen causes a patient's brain to get them out of deep sleep so that their airways open again.
These repeated sleep interruptions can make the person very tired, often not being aware of the problem.
Risks for OSA include:
- Being overweight – excess body fat increases most of the soft tissue in the neck
- Being male
- Be 40 years or older
- Have a big neck
- Drink excessive amounts of alcohol
- Being in menopause – hormonal changes make the throat muscles relax
Treatment includes lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, if necessary, and avoiding alcohol.
In addition, continuous devices with positive airway pressure (CPAP) prevent the airway from closing by delivering a continuous supply of compressed air through a mask.
A mandibular propulsion device (MAD) can also be used, which is like a gum shield that holds the jaw and tongue forward to increase the space at the back of the throat.
Left untreated, OSA increases a person's risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart attacks and type 2 diabetes.
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