Navigation Links
Obesity Crisis May Be Fueling Big Jump in Sleep Apnea Cases

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- The widening American waistline may be feeding an epidemic of sleep apnea, potentially robbing millions of people of a good night's rest, a new study suggests.

The research didn't definitively link the rise in obesity to sleep apnea, and it only looked at 1,520 people, almost all white, in Wisconsin. But study author Paul Peppard believes the findings show a big spike in sleep apnea cases over the past two decades -- as much as 55 percent -- and may translate to the entire United States.

"There are probably 4 million to 5 million people who are more likely to have sleep apnea due to the obesity epidemic," estimated Peppard, an assistant professor of population health sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "It's certainly an uncalculated cost of the obesity epidemic, an epidemic of its own."

The researchers looked at adults aged 30 to 70 who were monitored as they slept. About 600 to 700 underwent sleep tests between 1988 and 1994, with some continuing to take part along with hundreds of new participants from 2007 to 2010.

The study considered the participants to have moderate-to-severe breathing problems if they had trouble breathing 15 or more times an hour while sleeping.

Sleep apnea is the main cause of breathing problems during sleep. People with the condition often have trouble staying in deep sleep because their throats close, blocking their airways and requiring them to partially awaken to start breathing properly. They don't realize they're waking up and may become very sleepy during the day.

Besides sleepiness, sleep apnea can contribute to heart and other health problems if untreated and increase the risk of work- and driving-related accidents, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

The researchers extrapolated their findings to the entire United States and estimated that 10 percent of men aged 30 to 49 currently have symptoms of sleep apnea. The study estimates the number is 17 percent of men aged 50 to 70. For women, the estimate is 3 percent among those aged 30 to 49 and 9 percent among women aged 50 to 70.

Among all groups, heavier people were much more likely than thinner people to suffer from the symptoms.

The study estimates that these numbers have gone up by 14 percent to 55 percent from 1988-1994 to 2007-2010. Peppard estimated that 80 percent to 90 percent of the increase in symptoms is due to the growth in obesity.

But it's hard to know for sure how much of a role that obesity plays in causing more symptoms. While obesity is "almost certainly the biggest factor" in causing sleep apnea, Peppard said, "there's long list of things that cause sleep apnea or are related to sleep apnea, like being older, being male, having a narrower upper airway, having a genetic predisposition to it..."

What to do? If you don't feel rested after sleeping, Peppard said, talk to your doctor.

The good news is that sleep apnea is treatable. One treatment, known as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), is a machine that blows air into the throat to keep it open while people sleep. "It's very effective, but some people don't like to use it," Peppard said.

There's another option that will help in many cases, he said: Weight loss.

Joyce Walsleben, an associate professor of medicine at New York University who studies sleep problems, agreed. "Obesity has to be addressed and controlled," said Walsleben. "That is a message for doctors and patients."

Although the study tied obesity to higher risk of having sleep apnea, it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

The study appeared online recently in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

More information

For more about sleep apnea, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Paul Peppard, Ph.D., assistant professor, population health sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Joyce Walsleben, R.N., Ph.D., associate professor, medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York City; April 14, 2013, American Journal of Epidemiology

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Disrupted Sleep May Raise Risk for Obesity, Diabetes: Study
2. Obesitys Health Costs Double Earlier Estimates
3. Troubled Homes May Fuel Obesity in Girls
4. Childhood Obesity May Raise Odds of Adult Liver Cancer
5. Could the Childhood Obesity Epidemic Be Ebbing?
6. New research finds no association between white potato consumption (baked, boiled mashed) and obesity, Type 2 diabetes or systemic inflammation
7. Mayo Clinic: Obesity epidemic fueling rise in rheumatoid arthritis among women
8. Treating childhood obesity: A family affair
9. Rising Obesity Rates Might Mean More Rheumatoid Arthritis
10. Research May Point to New Obesity Treatments
11. U.S. Obesity Rate Set to Soar, Costing Billions: CDC
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Obesity Crisis May Be Fueling Big Jump in Sleep Apnea Cases
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... December 1, 2015 -- ... the company’s growing product line of food safety and seafood fraud prevention tools. ... nerka) – allow InstantLabs to offer fast, reliable species identification for the four ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... Annual 2015 Golden Bridge Business Awards under the New Products and Services category ... web based sample management software that helps labs organize data and ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Chicago, Illinois (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 ... ... measure and share medical images have been lifted as IMAGE Information Systems launches ... Radiology Society of North America Annual Meeting from November 29 to December 4, ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The importance of ... is the focus of numerous abstracts accepted for presentation here, at the 101st ... Nine abstracts highlight the use of Volpara Solutions’ quantitative breast imaging software tools ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... For the millions ... why Hollister Incorporated has launched the VaPro Plus Pocket™ touch free hydrophilic intermittent ... VaPro touch free catheter portfolio,” said Michael Gresavage, Vice President North America. "We ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015  Today, AmerisourceBergen, a global ... a first-of-its-kind population health management program focused on ... to be built into existing employer benefit packages, ... for their care and explains how to avoid ... to help patients understand their treatment options and ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015  The migration to value-based care ... care plans that help patients stay healthy and ... be digitally enabled, incorporate care guidelines and be ... They will also allow all stakeholders to collaborate ... is optimal. That is the vision, however, research ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... WASHINGTON and TELTOW, Germany ... SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) , a leading global manufacturer of ... RightEye LLC has included SMI remote eye trackers ... that help healthcare providers assess concussions, eye sight, and ... SMI RED -oem technology is part of SMI,s mass-market-ready ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: