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Severe sleep apnea can cause liver problems

Sleep disturbances or obstructive sleep apnea syndrome affects a lot of people who are obese// and a new research says now on top of having a difficult night, these people may have liver injuries as well arising from their condition.

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), also known as the condition of fragmented sleep, is associated with hypertension, heart problems, stroke, obesity, breathing problems, sexual dysfunction and clinical depression. This condition may range from minor sleep disturbance to a threat to life. In less severe conditions, OSAS remains undetected in people for a long time.

The research suggests that severe sleep apnea causes a heightened risk for elevated levels of the liver enzymes and may result in hepatitis or fibrosis of liver. On looking into the health records of 163 people with suspected obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, patients with severe condition of the syndrome were also insulin resistant.

Results of the study show that people with severe sleep apnea may be susceptible to liver injuries irrespective of their body weights. Researchers feel that more study is required to find out which treatment of OSAS can improve on liver injury.

Reference: Hepatology, June 2005

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