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[News] Half of women may have sleep apnea: study
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Half of women may have sleep apnea: study
Half of women may have sleep apnea: study

(Reuters Health) - Fully half of the 400 women given overnight sleep tests in a new Swedish study turned out to have mild-to-severe sleep apnea.


In the random population sample of adult women who answered a questionnaire and were monitored while sleeping, half experienced at least five episodes an hour when they stopped breathing for longer than 10 seconds, the minimum definition of sleep apnea.

Among women with hypertension or who were obese - two risk factors for sleep apnea - the numbers were even higher, reaching 80 to 84 percent of women.

Many of the women in the study represent mild cases of sleep apnea.

"How important is the mild sleep apnea, we don't know," said Dr. Karl Franklin, the lead author of the study and a professor at Umea University in Sweden.

Terry Young, a professor in the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin, said mild sleep apnea is important to pay attention to.

"We see that it doesn't go away and it gets worse," she said.

Sleep apnea is tied to a higher risk of stroke, heart attack and early death.

One recent study also found that women who have sleep apnea are more likely to develop memory problems and dementia (see Reuters Health story of August 9, 2011).

Franklin said his group wanted to get updated evidence of how common the condition is.

The researchers selected 400 women between the ages of 20 and 70 from a larger population sample of 10,000, and asked them to sleep overnight at home with sensors attached to their bodies.

The sensors measured heart rate, eye and leg movements, blood oxygen levels, air flow and brain waves.

Each apnea event was defined by at a least a 10-second pause in breathing accompanied by a drop in blood oxygen levels.

Women who had an average of five or more of these events during each hour of sleep were considered to have sleep apnea.

The study, which was funded by the Swedish Heart Lung Foundation, found that apnea became more common in the older age groups.

Among women aged 20-44, one quarter had sleep apnea, compared to 56 percent of women aged 45-54 and 75 percent of women aged 55-70.

Young said these numbers are higher than her own estimate, but that's likely because she used a more strict definition of sleep apnea than Franklin's group.

Franklin also said his equipment, being newer, is more sensitive in detecting interruptions in breathing.

Severe sleep apnea, which involves more than 30 breathing disruptions per hour, was far less common.

Just 4.6 percent of women 45-54 and 14 percent of women 55-70 had severe cases.

Among women of all ages with hypertension, 14 percent had severe sleep apnea, and among women who were obese, 19 percent had severe apnea.

Franklin said that if physicians are looking for sleep apnea among women, examining those who are obese, over 55 or have hypertension is a good place to start.

Young said sleep apnea is often thought of as a condition of men, but identifying women with it is especially beneficial, because her research has shown that women are good at sticking with treatment.

"The prejudice of excluding women (as potentially having sleep apnea) has been rampant for a long time. It's gotten better, however, and the (public health) gain in identifying women with sleep apnea is great," she said.

fair use from:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/0...A420120907

The above post may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The material available is intended to advance the understanding of Sleep Apnea treatment and to advance the educational level of Sleep Apnea patients with regard to their health. Sometimes included is the full text of articles and documents rather than a simple link because outside links frequently "go bad" or change over time. This constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this post is distributed without fee or payment of any kind for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this post for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
09-07-2012 09:44 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Half of women may have sleep apnea: study
Not surprised by the numbers. And not surprised by the lack of education. Of the women I know personally who have sleep apnea, none are (what I would consider morbidly obese) over 300lbs but all are overweight and/or obese. I hate that it is going to be used as a criteria, though. It promotes the belief that if you lose weight, it goes away.

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
09-07-2012 10:22 PM
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cbramsey Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Half of women may have sleep apnea: study
(09-07-2012 10:22 PM)PaulaO2 Wrote:  Not surprised by the numbers. And not surprised by the lack of education. Of the women I know personally who have sleep apnea, none are morbidly obese (over 300lbs) but all are obese. I hate that it is going to be used as a criteria, though. It promotes the belief that if you lose weight, it goes away.

Paula,

I disagree with your definition of morbid obesity.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, a person is morbidly obese if they have a BMI of 35 kg/m2 or higher with severe, obesity-related comorbidity or a BMI of 40 kg/m2 or higher without comorbidity.

In other words, you may weigh less than 300 lbs and be morbidly obese.

I do agree about the lack of education. I wish losing weight would have gotten rid of my OSA. I have lost over 130 lbs and STILL have sleep apnea. Oh-jeez

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
09-08-2012 07:21 AM
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Post: #4
RE: Half of women may have sleep apnea: study
I was considered morbidly obese.

My BMI was a 35.2 with insulin dependent type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and had had sleep apnea in my past...(had the UPPP in 2002)

I am 5'4" and a 35.2 was 203 lbs (what I weighed the day I checked into my bariatric surgeon's office). Normal was 144.5 (I was ONLY 58.5 lbs over normal).

I have, since my weight loss surgery, lost 70 lbs, am no longer insulin or even medication dependent diabetic, my cholesterol is normal with no medications, but my sleep apnea came back...that's why I had the Le Fort/SSRO surgery in March which put me back in the remission column for sleep apnea.

Liz
09-08-2012 12:07 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Half of women may have sleep apnea: study
shrug

I didn't know they actually had numbers for 'morbidly' since everyone carries their weight differently. Whatever works for the number folks I guess.

I will rephrase my original post then since that term seems to carry more weight (pun not intended) than what the article itself is saying.

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
09-08-2012 01:33 PM
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