According to the New York Times, two new studies have found that people with sleep apnea, a common disorder that causes snoring, fatigue and dangerous pauses in breathing at night, have a higher risk of cancer. The new research marks the first time that sleep apnea has been linked to cancer in humans.
About 28 million Americans have some form of a sleep disorder, though many cases go undiagnosed. For sleep doctors, the condition is a top concern because it deprives the body of oxygen at night and often coincides with cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.
In one of the studies, researchers in Spain followed thousands of patients at sleep clinics and found that those with the most severe forms of sleep apnea had a 65 percent greater risk of developing cancer of any kind. The second study, of about 1,500 government workers in Wisconsin, showed that those with the most breathing abnormalities at night had five times the rate of dying from cancer as people without the sleep disorder. Both research teams only looked at cancer diagnoses and outcomes in general, without focusing on any specific type of cancer.
Original article published by The New York Times. The article in its entirety can be found here.
Dr. Poss is not only a sleep diplomat, but runs one of the leading practices for sleep apnea treatment. If you suspect that you suffer from a sleep disorder, or think that someone you know may suffer, please call to setup a consultation today.