Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Severe Sleep Apnea Tied To Increased Risk Of Death

Date:
August 20, 2009
Source:
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Summary:
Moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of death from any cause in middle-aged adults, especially men, according to new results from a landmark study. The new findings provide the strongest evidence to date of a link between increased risk of death and sleep apnea, a common disorder in which the upper airway is intermittently narrowed during sleep, causing breathing to be difficult or completely blocked.

Moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of death from any cause in middle-aged adults, especially men, according to new results from a landmark study supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Related Articles


The new findings provide the strongest evidence to date of a link between increased risk of death and sleep apnea, a common disorder in which the upper airway is intermittently narrowed during sleep, causing breathing to be difficult or completely blocked.

Overall, study participants with severe sleep apnea were at a 40 percent increased risk of death compared to those who did not have the breathing condition. The mortality risk was most apparent in men, who were more likely to die from any cause as well as from heart disease if they had severe sleep apnea. In particular, men between the ages of 40 and 70 with severe sleep apnea were twice as likely to die during the study compared to their peers who did not have the condition.

The study is published in the August 18 issue of the open-access journal PLoS Medicine.

Researchers from the Sleep Heart Health Study (SHHS) studied more than 6,000 men and women aged 40 years and older who had no sleep apnea or had mild, moderate, or severe sleep apnea as determined by a standard at-home sleep test at the beginning of the study. After an average of eight years, participants who had severe sleep apnea at enrollment were one and one-half times more likely to die from any cause, regardless of age, gender, race, or weight, or whether they were a current or former smoker or had other medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes.

The results confirm findings from smaller, community-based studies which have suggested increased frequency of death among adults with sleep apnea. SHHS, which was conducted in seven medical centers across the United States, is the largest and most comprehensive prospective multi-center study to date on the risk of cardiovascular disease and other conditions related to sleep apnea. Earlier findings from SHHS have shown that untreated sleep apnea is associated with increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, heart failure, and stroke. Other studies have also linked untreated sleep apnea with overweight and obesity, and diabetes. In addition, untreated sleep apnea contributes to excessive daytime sleepiness, which lowers performance in the workplace and at school, and increases the risk of injuries and death from drowsy driving and other accidents.

More than 12 million adult Americans are believed to have sleep apnea, and most are not diagnosed or treated. Treatments to restore regular breathing during sleep include lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, surgery, and breathing devices, such as continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP.

These treatments appear to help reduce the severity of symptoms such as loud snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness, thereby improving sleep-related quality of life and performance. Randomized clinical trials to test whether treating sleep apnea lowers the risk of death and cardiovascular disease are needed.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Punjabi et al. Sleep-Disordered Breathing and Mortality: A Prospective Cohort Study. PLoS Medicine, 2009; 6 (8): e1000132 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000132

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. "Severe Sleep Apnea Tied To Increased Risk Of Death." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090817190646.htm>.
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. (2009, August 20). Severe Sleep Apnea Tied To Increased Risk Of Death. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090817190646.htm
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. "Severe Sleep Apnea Tied To Increased Risk Of Death." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090817190646.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
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