Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Respiratory Disturbances During Sleep Increase Significantly With Age

Date:
February 6, 2008
Source:
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Summary:
The frequency of respiratory disturbances increases dramatically with age, even in healthy individuals without symptoms or signs of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. An increase in the prevalence of sleep apnea syndrome with age has been well documented. This study focused on breathing irregularities during sleep in 163 people who are currently completely healthy, as assessed by passing numerous physical and clinical health tests.

The frequency of respiratory disturbances increases dramatically with age, even in healthy individuals without symptoms or signs of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, according to a new study. An increase in the prevalence of sleep apnea syndrome with age has been well documented. This study focused on breathing irregularities during sleep in 163 people who are currently completely healthy, as assessed by passing numerous physical and clinical health tests. The results showed that, in this group of currently completely healthy individuals, irregularities in breathing during sleep are remarkably common, particularly in older individuals.

Related Articles


For example, only around five percent of currently healthy subjects under 50 years of age had a respiratory disturbance index (RDI) of more than 15 events per hour. This degree of sleep-disordered breathing is considered to be clinically significant by many physicians. In contrast, about half of currently healthy subjects over 65 years of age had an RDI of more than 15 events per hour. Respiratory disturbances, therefore, increase dramatically with age even in healthy individuals without symptoms or signs of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.

"There are still discussions among clinicians regarding the clinical significance of the different degrees of sleep disordered breathing. Also, there is discussion concerning the best criteria for defining breathing abnormalities, which can range from completely obstructed breath (i.e., choking - leading to reduced oxygen supply and life-saving arousals) to loud snoring that may, or may not, lead to reduced oxygen supply and arousal from sleep," said Steven A. Shea, PhD, of Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass., senior author of the study. "In addition, there are few long-term studies of clinical outcome in patients with sleep apnea, and the criteria and the measuring techniques have evolved substantially over recent years. Thus, we do not yet know the clinical relevance of these new findings."

Dr. Shea added that, since this high degree of respiratory abnormality is so common in the healthy elderly, it seems likely that this is a consequence of the normal aging process.

"Nonetheless, even if normal, we worry that individuals with a high RDI who are untreated will begin to develop pathophysiologic consequences over time, including increased risk of cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Shea. "Thus, it may be worth considering treatment regardless of symptoms. A high RDI in a younger individual is much more uncommon and therapy would seem advisable in those cases, particularly as there is some evidence that having sleep apnea can lead to worsening of sleep apnea over time."

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder that causes one's body to stop breathing during sleep. It occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway, preventing air from getting into the lungs. About four percent of men and two percent of women have obstructive sleep apnea, and millions more remain undiagnosed.

Scientific evidence shows that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the best treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP provides a steady stream of pressurized air to patients through a mask that they wear during sleep. This airflow keeps the airway open, preventing the pauses in breathing that characterize sleep apnea and restoring normal oxygen levels. CPAP users often express dramatic improvements in how they feel. They are more alert, have more energy and are able to perform at higher levels for longer periods of time.

The article "Polysomnographic respiratory abnormalities in asymptomatic individuals"  was published in the February 1 issue of the journal Sleep.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Respiratory Disturbances During Sleep Increase Significantly With Age." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080201085718.htm>.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2008, February 6). Respiratory Disturbances During Sleep Increase Significantly With Age. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080201085718.htm
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Respiratory Disturbances During Sleep Increase Significantly With Age." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080201085718.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins