Now It's Osteoporosis A Risk for Sleep Apnea Sufferers

Here's another reason to check it out if you think you might have sleep apnea: you may also develop osteoporosis.

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes brief interruptions in breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form, occurs when a person’s airway becomes blocked during sleep. If sleep apnea goes untreated, it can raise the risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.

“Ongoing sleep disruptions caused by obstructive sleep apnea can harm many of the body’s systems, including the skeletal system,” newswise.com quotes one of the study’s authors, Kai-Jen Tien, MD, of Chi Mei Medical Center in Tainan, Taiwan. “When sleep apnea periodically deprives the body of oxygen, it can weaken bones and raise the risk of osteoporosis. The progressive condition can lead to bone fractures, increased medical costs, reduced quality of life and even death.”

As someone who broke her wrist in December falling on ice and heard a doctor say, "If you were 25, this wouldn't have happened," I know the risk of osteoporosis (I don't have it but breaking my wrist convinced me I don't want it).

Researchers found the incidence of osteoporosis was 2.7 times higher among patients with sleep apnea than their counterparts, after adjusting for age, gender, other medical problems, geographic location and monthly income. Women and older individuals faced increased risk of developing the bone condition.
“As more and more people are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea worldwide, both patients and health care providers need to be aware of the heightened risk of developing other conditions,” Tien said. “We need to pay more attention to the relationship between sleep apnea and bone health so we can identify strategies to prevent osteoporosis.”





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