People with sleep apnea may be at greater risk of sudden death, a new study claims. Some studied have shown an association between sleep apnea and an increased risk of sudden and cardiovascular-related deaths.
Obstructive sleep apnea has become a worldwide health concern. Recent research shows that this chronic sleep disorder affects more than 1 billion individuals.
The latest study by Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey found that people who are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea are at a significantly higher risk of dying suddenly compared to those without the condition.
This research was published in BMJ Open Respiratory Research.
This sleep disturbance expresses itself in different ways, including excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, heavy snoring, and non-refreshing sleep. These symptoms can potentially affect a person’s quality of life.
For the new study, the researchers at Penn State performed identified 22 studies focusing on obstructive sleep apnea, cardiac death, and sudden death. The quantitative analysis included a combined total of over 42,000 individuals across the globe. The participants were around 62 years old and 64% of them were men.
Overall study analysis suggests that the risk of experiencing sudden death was double among individuals with obstructive sleep apnea compared to those who did not have the sleep condition.
Dr. Ryan Soose, director of the UPMC Sleep Division, said: “We’ve known for a long time that untreated sleep apnea patients are more likely to develop high blood pressure, heart disease, and a number of other health conditions. But the risk of sudden death reported in this study is eye-opening and makes a timely diagnosis and treatment even more pressing.”