Sleep disorder increases risk of death


Friday 1st August, 2008

Sleep disordersMore and more people are using alternative medicine and complementary therapy to help overcome sleep disorders.

According to a recent study supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in the US, one particular disorder called ‘sleep apnea’ (or sleep disordered breathing) has recently been associated to an increased risk of death.

Research found that people aged between 30 and 60 who took part in the study and suffer with sleep apnea were two to three times more likely to die from any cause compared to those people who don’t have the problem.

The reason was linked to the severity of sleep apnea and was not attributable to the person’s cardiovascular health, age, gender or BMI (body mass index). The study followed 1522 men and women in generally good health for an average of 13.8 years. Each participant was tested for sleep apnea using an overnight sleep test.

Those who suffered with severe sleep apnea were found to be three times more likely to die over the course of the study than those without breathing problems during their sleep.

People who were not treated for their sleep disorder were at even greater risk – nearly four times more likely to die from any cause and five times more likely to die from cardiovascular problems.

Sleep apnea that is left untreated has also been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular conditions such as high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes.

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