Physical exercise and less TV watching linked to lower risk of developing OSA, a new study concludes. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with an increased risk of several chronic diseases such as stroke, heart failure, diabetes, and heart attacks.
OSA is a sleep-related breathing disorder that affects 10–20% of the adult population in the United States. The condition involves repeated, intermittent upper airway blockage during sleep. This blockage can cause a risk of serious conditions, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.
The most common signs and symptoms of OSA include snoring, daytime sleepiness or fatigue, headaches, mood swings, and high blood pressure, and night sweats.
Investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MA, and other institutions came together for the new study findings. They investigated “the potential role of maintaining an active lifestyle in reducing OSA incidence.”
Their study findings appear in the European Respiratory Journal.
The results showed that being more active and cutting TV time are behaviors associated with a lower risk of developing OSA.
For the research, the experts examined data from 137,917 participants enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), Nurses’ Health Study II (NHSII), and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS).
The study findings revealed that TV watching most strongly correlated with sleep apnea as well as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Tianyi Huang, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and one of the authors of the study said that healthcare professionals are more likely to report symptoms of OSA.