Friday, March 19, 2010

OSA Patients at Risk for Gastrointestinal Conditions

More than 18 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). A new study indicates that the majority of these people might also suffer from gastrointestinal (GI) conditions.

The research was presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation in October 2009.

The findings indicate that conditions like reflux disease and heartburn commonly affect OSA patients.

The study included 42 adult patients with OSA. Of the patients, 47.6 percent had mild sleep apnea. More than 14 percent had moderate OSA. And 38.1 percent suffered from severe sleep apnea.

Every patient was examined for GI health.

The researchers observed GI findings in 83.3 percent of patients. More than 59 percent showed two or more GI conditions.

People with mild and moderate sleep apnea had the same risk for GI conditions as those with severe sleep apnea.

The researchers explained that it is “very uncommon” for gastroenterologists to recommend their patients for sleep apnea testing. More research in this area will help raise awareness of the tie between the two conditions.

The researchers recommended that patients who have OSA visit a gastroenterologist for additional exams.

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.