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Sleep Apnea Patients at Risk of Osteoporosis, Study Shows


Sleep Apnea Patients at Risk of Osteoporosis, Study Shows


It has been well recognized that sleep apnea, a very common medical condition, can increase the risk of a patient developing serious disorders such as stroke, heart attacks, and other non-heart-related ailments such as osteoporosis

It now appears that sleep apnea may also increase the risk of osteoporosis especially among women and the elderly, this according to a study which was published in the Endocrine Society’s recent edition of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Osteoporosis is a medical condition where in bones become so weak and brittle that any fall or even movements such as bending over may cause a fracture. In most cases, patients with osteoporosis experience these fractures in the hip, wrist, and spine.


Study Involving 1,377 Sleep Apnea Patients

Led by Dr. Kai-Jen Tien, a medical practitioner in Chi Mei Medical Center in Tainan, Taiwan, a team of researchers carried out a study with the objective of determining the link between obstructive sleep apnea and the onset of osteoporosis. For this study, researchers examined the records of 1,377 people who were suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. Data used were from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance covering the period from 2000 to 2008. During this period, the research team compared the rate of diagnosis of osteoporosis to a control group composed of 20,655 people who were of the same age and gender but did not suffer this particular sleep disorder.


Osteoporosis almost Three Times More Likely in Sleep Apnea Patients

After the assessment of the data gathered, the researchers were able to determine that patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea were 2.7 times more likely to experience osteoporosis when compared to their counterparts. These results were arrived at after adjusting variables such as age, gender, and other demographic factors. It was further noted that the risk of osteoporosis was higher among women and the older patients.

Dr. Kai-Jen Tien explained that the sleep disruptions caused by obstructive sleep apnea may deprive the body of oxygen, resulting to the weakening of the vital parts of the body. Included in this would be the bones and thereby increase the risk of osteoporosis.


Sleep Apnea a Very Serious Problem

The outcome of this study is very significant in that it has once again shown the severity of sleep apnea. This can be very devastating to the women and older people who now have to face increased medical expenses and a reduced quality of life. This is a wake-up call for those concerned to take sleep apnea seriously and come with actions to address this growing problem. because of the numerous disorders associated with sleep apnea, the very serious and distressing osteoporosis may now be added to that list.


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Written and Edited by Bill Bistak B Sc.,SEO/SEM Spc, CRT

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