Risk of Pneumonia Higher in People Suffering Sleep Apnea
It has long been shown by various clinical trials that people with sleep apnea are exposed to numerous mental and health issues that include those that may be considered serious and potentially life-threatening, including pneumonia. According to a study that was published very recently in the medical journal Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), individuals suffering from sleep apnea have higher risk of developing pneumonia compared to people without this sleep problem.
Clinical Trial Involving 34,100 Participants
A team of medical researchers from Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan conducted a large-scale study with the aim of determining the link between sleep apnea and the onset of pneumonia. Involved in this study were 34,100 participants who were tracked for over 11 years. Of this number, 6,816 people were diagnosed with sleep apnea while the other 27,284 subjects were used as controls. At the outset, the research team pointed out that there may have been previous studies on the subject but were limited in scope and number unlike the present which involved a large sample and a longer study period.
Higher Risk of Pneumonia for Sleep Apnea Patients
At the conclusion of the study period and after evaluation of the data gathered, the research team was able to come up with a conclusion that patients with sleep apnea had higher risk of developing pneumonia when compared to people without this serious sleep problem. It further found that these patients were older and experiencing more medical conditions such as diabetes, dementia, heart-related diseases, and other illnesses. It was suggested by the authors of the study that this higher risk of pneumonia in people with sleep apnea may be due to the increased risk of aspirating liquid or other contents from the throat.
Sleep Apnea an Independent Risk Factor of Pneumonia
According to Dr. Vincent Yi-Fong Su and Dr. Kun-Ta Chou, coauthors of the study, the outcome of this clinical trial is very significant since it shows that sleep apnea is an independent risk factor for pneumonia. These findings further underscore the importance of treating this sleep problem, which has already been confirmed to be a risk factor for numerous fatal medical conditions.
Importance of Treatment of Sleep Apnea
Patients suffering from sleep apnea, including residents located in the Toronto area, are encouraged to have their conditions treated accordingly. There are numerous methods of addressing this condition that have been found to be very effective and safe. Together with lifestyle and behavioral changes, the use of the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, has been shown to significantly improve the conditions of sleep apnea patients. Doing this allows them to have a better quality of life and avoiding illnesses like pneumonia.
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Written and Edited by Bill Bistak B Sc.,SEO/SEM Spc, CRT
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