Sleep apnea symptoms may also be linked to a higher risk of developing the bone disease osteoporosis according to a new study.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, having sleep apnea also apparently increases the risk of developing pneumonia in elderly patients, in addition to type-2 diabetes. Unfortunately, many people don’t even realize they have sleep apnea symptoms, and it’s found in 50 percent of women, but the good news is that one of the suggested sleep apnea cures is to simply lost weight.
Dr. Kai-Jen Tien, of Chi Mei Medical Center in Tainan, Taiwan, has been studying sleep apnea symptoms for years and he says the repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep can, if left untreated, increase a person’s risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Tien also has analyzed the medical history of around 1,400 people from the years 2000 to 20008 and compared them to 20,600 other people who did not suffer from sleep apnea. Based upon this study, the team discovered that people with sleep apnea were 2.7 times more likely to be diagnosed with osteoporosis:
“Ongoing sleep disruptions caused by obstructive sleep apnea can harm many of the body’s systems, including the skeletal system. 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.”
But the doctors are also quick to note there is not any evidence that sleep apnea causes osteoporosis. They only believe the sleeping problem can cause a higher risk, or is linked to poor bone health. Still, Tien does believe it’s wise for people to be more aware of the problems with leaving sleep apnea symptoms untreated:
“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. We need to pay more attention to the relationship between sleep apnea and bone health so we can identify strategies to prevent osteoporosis.”
The study also noted the risk for the bone-thinning disease was highest among women and older people with sleep apnea.