Thursday, April 29, 2010

Charles Dickens and The Pickwick Papers

According to a recent article in Tufts Journal, sleep apnea was once known as “Pickwickian syndrome,” after the character Joe in Charles Dickens’ first novel, The Pickwick Papers. Joe’s obesity and tendency to fall asleep during the day led to the book title’s association with sleep apnea.

Almost two centuries after Joe’s sleep troubles, obesity and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is affecting a growing number of people.

Excess fat around the neck can put pressure on the throat during sleep, causing airway collapses. Sedatives such as alcohol and prescription drugs can cause further slackening of the upper-airway tissues.

The article relays a patient success story of a 54-year-old man named Tim, who asked that his last name not be used.

Three years ago, Tim was drinking too much and gaining weight. His wife complained about his snoring and daytime sleepiness. He took a sleep test and was diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea.

Tim could not get used to the CPAP device that his physician recommended for treatment.

“I tried it, but I couldn’t tolerate it,” he says. “The mask fell off constantly, no matter how many times I had it adjusted.”

Tim’s doctor referred him to an AADSM-member dentist to be fitted for a custom-made oral appliance. His two-piece mouth guard held his lower jaw slightly forward during sleep to maintain a steady airflow.

During the next year, Tim visited his dentist every two or three months for tiny adjustments to the mouth guard.

“There was some initial drooling,” Tim reported. “But the body adjusts over time. I’m very used to it now.”

Forty-pounds lighter, Tim is feeling awake during the day and sleeping soundly at night. “I’m back upstairs with my wife,” he said, happy to no longer be sleeping on the living room sofa.

Image by Wigwam Jones

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stomach Acid and Spontaneous Arousals From Sleep

By Guest Blogger Dr. Steven Y. Park, M.D.

Gastro-esophageal reflux and laryngopharyngeal reflux disease are commonly seen in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Many people with sleep apnea will have the typical throat clearing, post-nasal drip, chronic cough or hoarseness that's seen with laryngopharyngeal reflux disease. Sleep apnea causes your normal stomach juices to leak up into the throat, which not only causes you to wake up, but also causes swelling and inflammation in the throat.

We know that any form of breathing obstruction (apnea, hypopnea, respiratory effort-related arousal) can cause you to wake up. But any degree of acid in the throat can stimulate chemical receptors, which causes you to wake up so you can swallow. It's thought that this is needed to prevent aspiration of stomach juices into your lungs.

A recent Japanese study not only confirmed these concepts, but found an interesting additional observation: While people with severe obstructive sleep apnea have mostly arousals due to breathing pauses, those with mild to moderate sleep apnea have a higher number of spontaneous arousals. Spontaneous arousals are noted on a sleep study when your brain waves go from deep sleep to light sleep or temporary awakening, without any objective evidence of breathing pauses.

An obstruction causes a tremendous vacuum effect that's created in the throat, literally suctioning up your normal stomach juices. This initial obstruction will lead to the typical respiratory arousal, but lingering juices will irritate the throat leading to spontaneous arousals. Think of your stomach juices as a sort of sensory form of stimulation, like a loud noise or a bright light. Your throat has a number of very sensitive chemical and pressure receptors that can cause your brain to wake up, without any physical obstruction.

I've always felt that spontaneous arousals are somehow related to breathing pauses. This study only confirms my suspicion that too many spontaneous arousals may be a sign of upper-airway resistance syndrome or early obstructive sleep apnea.

What's your opinion on this? Do you have any of the above symptoms?

About the Author: Dr. Steven Y. Park is a board certified otolaryngologist – head & neck surgeon in private practice in New York City. He’s the author of Sleep, Interrupted: A physician reveals the #1 reason why so many of us are sick and tired, which is endorsed by New York Times best-selling authors Christiane Northrup, M.D., Dean Ornish, M.D., Mark Liponis, M.D., Mary Shomon, and others.

Visit Dr. Park’s Web site and Blog.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Success Story: Woman Enjoys Her Best Night of Sleep in Years

When Mary Keeler, now 61, arrived at Tufts University’s Dental Clinic, she hadn’t had a good night’s sleep for almost 15 years, reports Tufts Journal.

Since 1993, excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) had damaged Keeler’s health, mood, work and relationships.

“I was sleeping my life away, but I couldn’t seem to get to the bottom of it,” said Keeler.

Keeler described her path to diagnosis and treatment as a winding and frustrating one. At first, her EDS was mistaken for a symptom of depression. But in 2006, Keeler underwent a sleep study and was diagnosed with moderate obstructive sleep apnea.

Her initial treatment was CPAP, which involved sleeping with a face mask connected to an air pump. Keeler found the mask awkward and uncomfortable. Her husband could not sleep in the same room as the CPAP machine, which produced what Keeler described as “white noise.”

“Well, I hated it. I absolutely hated it,” she said.

After a decade and a half, Keeler found her answer at the dentist’s office. Her sleep physician referred Keeler to her dentist to get a custom-made oral appliance.

A follow-up sleep study found that while the sleep apnea was gone, Keeler was not getting enough REM sleep. Her sleep physician prescribed medication, which in combination with the oral appliance therapy, solved her sleep problems.

“All of a sudden, I woke up like a new person,” said Keeler. “I thought, ‘So that’s what it feels like to get a good night’s sleep.’”

Oral appliance therapy is recommended for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. Find-a-dentist in your area who is trained to treat sleep apnea.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Steering Clear of Road Blocks: Study Recommends OSA Treatment for Commercial Drivers

Road safety advocates will be pleased with a new study in the May issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The study indicates that treating truck drivers with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) lowers healthcare costs and disability rates.

Lead author Dr. Benjamin Hoffman explained in a press release that treating OSA in truck drivers has economic, health and safety benefits.

The researchers used insurance claims records to evaluate the effects of OSA treatment in commercial drivers. The study included 248 OSA patients. Treatment was given to 156 of the drivers. The remaining 92 drivers went untreated.

For treated drivers, health plan costs decreased by an average of $2,700 in the first year. The costs decreased by another $3,100 in the second year. Untreated OSA patients did not experience changes in their health plan costs.

The treated drivers missed 4.4 fewer days of work in the first year. They also had lower short-term disability costs over two years.

On average, OSA treatment led to more than $6,000 in total health savings per treated driver.

The results indicate that, in addition to lowering accident rates, treating OSA can reduce health costs, work absences, and short-term disability.

Past studies have found that OSA treatment can lower the number of drowsy driving accidents. Screening and treatment for OSA has recently been recommended for commercial drivers. Read more here.

Image by Christian

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sleep Interrupted: A Public Health Issue

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects an estimated 18 million adults in the U.S. OSA occurs when the tongue and soft tissues in the throat collapse into the airway, causing pauses in breath during sleep. Apneas can occur hundreds of times a night.

OSA patients can sleep for hours but still feel exhausted. This excessive daytime drowsiness can pose hazards on the road and in the workplace.

A 2006 Institute of Medicine report found that drowsiness costs $150 billion each year in accidents and lost productivity. Another $48 billion in medical costs result from auto accidents involving sleepy drivers. The IOM report found that 20 percent of all serious car accidents are caused by sleep-deprived drivers.

Qualified dentists can treat patients with oral appliance therapy (OAT). A feature article in the spring issue of Tufts Journal asked AADSM Immediate Past President Jeffrey Prinsell, DMD, MD, how dentists have addressed this public health issue.

Dr. Prinsell explained that sleep apnea requires treatment. “These patients are extremely tired; their performance at work suffers; they lose their libido; their bed partners leave them. And if [the sleep apnea] is left untreated, these people could die at night in their sleep,” he said.

“It’s very important we get some sort of treatment that lets these people function,” said Dr. Prinsell. He helped create Dentists Against Drowsy Driving, a public health campaign launched by the AADSM in November 2008. The program aims to raise awareness among health-care providers and the public about OSA.

Most OSA patients respond to some combination of CPAP or OAT. But some patients require surgery. Dentists who are oral and maxillofacial surgeons can perform these surgeries. They include remodeling nasal passages, adjusting the jaw, repositioning the tongue or removing the tonsils.

The article highlights Tufts University’s new program in dental sleep medicine. Read more about the program here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Golden Years: Is Old Age All in Your Mind?

A new study shows that treating sleep apnea may play an important role in maintaining brain function during old age.

The study was published by the American Journal of Repertory and Critical Care Medicine.

Natural aging is associated with cognitive deficits similar to those found in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients. OSA can cause memory and concentration problems.

People affected by OSA or healthy aging can experience cerebral compensation during cognitive activities. This study examined if the presence of both old age and OSA caused stronger compensatory response than those factors alone. They suspected that the presence of both OSA and old age might overwhelm the brain’s capacity to maintain performance.

The study involved 14 OSA patients. The patients were 25 to 59 years-old. Fourteen age-matched controls also took part. People less than 45-years-old were “young.” “Middle-age” patients and controls were 45-years-old or more.

Each participant took a sleep study. They also took a functional MRI session to test their attention and verbal encoding skills.

The researchers compared the results between the middle-age and young OSA patients and middle-age and young controls.

Middle-age OSA patients showed reduced performance for immediate word recall. They also had slower reaction times during sustained attention activities.

For both tasks, decreased activation was detected in the Middle-age OSA group in contrast to the young OSA and control groups.

These results suggest that the dual-presence of OSA and increasing age overwhelmed the brain’s capacity to respond to cognitive challenges.

This study underscores the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of OSA.

Image by Tree & J Hensdill

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hear Becky's Story: The Wife of a Snoring and Sleep Apnea Patient Treated With an Oral Device

By Guest Blogger Dr. Lydia Sosenko, DDS, D.ABDSM

For more than 12 years, my dental practice, Dental Sleep Medicine of Illinois, has focused on treating people suffering from snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

People often ask me how I became involved in treating these conditions with oral appliance therapy (OAT). I have two events that I remember specifically that started the ball rolling: the first, a Grand Canyon group expedition, and the second, a ski trip. During both of these trips, the snoring of one person put strain on the whole group, especially the light sleepers.

Years later, I was able to help a middle-aged couple treat snoring using OAT. The gratitude they showed me was overwhelming. Soon afterwards, I befriended colleagues in dental sleep medicine, which strengthened my commitment to this area of dentistry.

One of my patients, Becky, is featured in the below video. In it, she describes the changes in her and her husband’s lives since he started OAT.



OAT is a non-surgical treatment option recommended by physicians for the use of mild to moderate OSA. It is also recommended for patients that cannot tolerate CPAP. Oral appliances are worn in the mouth similar to sports mouth guards or orthodontic retainers. Many patients find that an oral appliance is comfortable, convenient and affordable. In fact, medical insurance often covers OAT.

About the author: Dr. Lydia Sosenko (picture) is a general dentist devoted to treating sleep apnea. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine and a member of the AADSM Public Relations Committee. She has appeared on WGN’s Healthwatch and is dedicated to helping the public sleep with the use of OAT.

Visit her blog here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sleep Disturbances and Quality of Life

A new study from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine gives insight into how sleep disorders can affect people’s quality of life (QOL). The researchers compared sleep’s impact on QOL between three racial/ethnic groups.

The participants were part of the Sleep Heart Health Study (SHHS). They included more than 5,000 men and women. Five percent of the people were Hispanic, nine percent were African American/Black and 86 percent were Caucasian/White. The participants were all at least 40-years-old.

Each person took a sleep study and the SF-36. The SF-36 is a short questionnaire from the Medical Outcomes Study. It measures QOL by examining aspects of physical and mental wellness. The test is self-reported. Some healthcare providers use the SF-36 to assess care outcomes in adult patients.

United Press International explains that the participants had a high rate of sleep problems. Forty-six percent had obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), 34 percent frequent snoring, 30 percent insomnia symptoms and 25 percent excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS).

There were no significant differences involving OSA by race. But there were some differences between the races.

African Americans with frequent snoring, insomnia, and EDS reported lower physical QOL. In contrast, Hispanics with frequent snoring, insomnia and EDS reported lower mental QOL.

The researchers explained that this study helped determine norms for physical and mental QOL in people suffering from sleep disorders. This set of norms can help doctors gauge the impact of sleep disorders on their patients.

Earlier this month, the Official Blog of the AADSM reported more results from the SHHS. The research found that men with sleep apnea were twice as likely as men without sleep apnea to have a stroke. This risk increased with OSA severity. Men with moderate to severe sleep apnea were nearly three times more likely to have a stroke than men without sleep apnea or with mild OSA.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Coexisting Conditions: Insomnia and Sleep Apnea

You might think that having obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) means that you don’t have insomnia. After all, OSA often causes excessive daytime sleepiness while insomnia is characterized by elevated alertness. But several studies indicate that the two disorders often coexist.

A study in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine examined 20 previous studies that compared the two conditions. Their results indicated that insomnia symptoms were reported in 39 to 58 percent of OSA patients.

Insomnia symptoms include difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Insomniacs often experience early awakenings or feel unrefreshed after sleeping.

Experts estimate that 30 percent of adults have insomnia symptoms. An estimated 10 percent of adults have chronic insomnia.

Just as OSA patients displayed signs of insomnia, many insomniacs exhibited signs of OSA. Between 29 and 69 percent of insomnia patients had an AHI of more than five. This score indicates OSA.

People who suffer from OSA and insomnia have some similar symptoms. Both conditions can lower work productivity and increase driving accidents. They also can raise one’s risk for cardiovascular disease.

Both sleep disorders lowered patients’ quality of life. And people in each group felt tired and experienced mood problems.

Because insomnia and sleep apnea are two common sleep disorders, the researchers were unsurprised by the patient overlap.

The researchers suggest that ignoring one of the disorders may worsen the other disorder. So it is important to treat both conditions. Sleep disorders can be diagnosed at a sleep center.

In March, this blog reported on a study that found that men and women with OSA sometimes have different symptoms. The study showed that 17 percent of women complained of insomnia. In contrast, five percent of men complained of insomnia.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sleep and Weight Loss: “I’m Loving It”

As catchy as McDonald’s “I’m loving it” slogan sounds, new research shows that sleeping eight hours per night can cut a Big-Mac’s worth of calories from your diet – and that is something to love.

The study found that normal-weight men ate 560 more calories per day when they had four hours of sleep the night before, in contrast to eight hours.

The study involved 12 healthy young men. The researches examined how sleep affected food intake and physical activity during two 48-hour sessions.

Two days served as a control period. The study participants maintained normal routines and tracked their sleep, eating and activities in a diary.

During the second two-day period, the men went to bed at midnight and woke up at 8 a.m. on one day. On the other day, they went to bed at 2 a.m. and woke up at 6 a.m. They were allowed to eat as much as they liked.

After the night of short sleep, the men consumed an average of 22 percent more calories than when they slept for eight hours.

The findings make it clear that people need to do their best to get an adequate amount of sleep so their bodies can function properly, the researchers told Reuters Health.

This study was the first of its kind to look at what happens to a normal-weight person's eating patterns when he or she sleeps less. Results indicate that one night of reduced sleep can increase food intake and decrease physical activity.

The authors suggest that sleep deprivation may contribute to the current rise in obesity.

Whether you are trying to maintain a healthy weight or lose a few extra pounds, getting enough sleep is important. Excess weight can contribute to developing sleep apnea. In December, this blog reported that weight loss can reduce the severity of sleep apnea.

Image by Dain Sandoval

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Language of Sleep: Popular Screening Tool Translated Into Korean

A new study in the journal Sleep and Breathing shows that the recently created Korean Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) is a reliable and valid tool for screening patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The ESS was translated into Korean and then retranslated into English to ensure its validity.

Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is a common symptom of OSA. The ESS gauges how likely you are to doze off or fall asleep in everyday situations. The test can help you see if you have a problem with EDS. A score of nine or above indicates that you should see your doctor.

The study involved 273 participants. Each person took a polysomnography (PSG) to test for sleep apnea. Of the participants, 37 had mild OSA, 61 had moderate OSA, and 83 had severe OSA. Thirty-two people snored. Sixty people breathed normally during sleep.

Two to four weeks after the PSG, 53 of the participants were randomly selected and given the KESS.

Results indicate that the KESS is a reliable screening tool for Korean-speaking patients. KESS scores were significantly higher in patients with OSA. As OSA severity increased, so did patients’ KESS scores.

The ESS and KESS can help screen for sleep apnea. But OSA should be diagnosed at a sleep center. Once diagnosed, some sleep apnea patients receive treatment from dentists trained in dental sleep medicine.

Dentists from around the world now treat sleep apnea. In March, this blog reported on the launch of the Asian Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. The Academy is composed of DSM experts from Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Thailand.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sleep Apnea Doubles Risk of Stroke in Men

Stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide. New research shows that treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may help doctors prevent similar deaths in the future.

Researchers from the Sleep Heart Health Study (SHHS) found that OSA is associated with an increased risk of stroke in middle-aged and older adults, especially men.

The study was published by the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. It is the largest study to-date linking sleep apnea and increased risk of stroke.

Each of the 5,422 participants took an at-home sleep test to determine if they suffered from sleep apnea and, if so, to what extent. Each person was 40 years of age or older. No one had a history of stroke or treatment for sleep apnea.

The researchers followed the participants for nine years. Over this period, 85 men and 108 women had strokes.

On average, men with sleep apnea were twice as likely as men without sleep apnea to have a stroke. This risk increased with OSA severity. Men with moderate to severe sleep apnea were nearly three times more likely to have a stroke than men without sleep apnea or with mild OSA.

"Overall, the increased risk of stroke in men with sleep apnea is comparable to adding 10 years to a man's age,” said Dr. Susan Redline in a news release.

Increased risk was independent of other risk factors such as weight, high blood pressure, race, smoking and diabetes.

The researchers also found a link between sleep apnea and increased risk of stroke in women. Unlike with the men, increased stroke risk in women was only associated with severe OSA.

This landmark study was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health. The researchers believe that these results may help doctors learn how cardiovascular problems like strokes and high cholesterol develop.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

His and Hers: Body Fat Varies Between the Sexes

A new study published in the journal SLEEP shows that body fat can predict obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) severity, but that its predictive value varies depending on gender.

Excess body fat increases your risk for OSA. But depending on your sex, where fat is located in your body holds important information.

The study included 36 women and 60 men. The participants had similar waste sizes and body mass indexes (BMI).

The researchers looked at the people’s age, sex, Epworth Sleepiness Score (ESS) and BMI. Body surface and upper airway measurements were also taken.

Each participant took a sleep test and DXA scan. Dual Energy Absorptiometry (DXA) Scanning measures a person’s percentage of fat and lean tissue, and bone density.

The researchers found that the best way to predict the disorder was through DXA scans. They also found that how well fat predicted severe OSA varied between men and women and depended on where the fat resided.

In men, abdominal fat best predicted severe OSA. Neck circumference was associated with severe OSA in both sexes, but especially for men. Neck fat was predictive in women, but not men.

A narrow airway was particularly useful in screening for severe OSA in women. The Epworth Sleepiness Scale was better in predicting severe OSA in men than in women.

Image by Alexandra Moss

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Her Side of the Story: Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease

A recent blog post on EmpowHer describes sleep apnea and snoring from the bed partner’s point of view.

“From time to time, my husband snores. Now, when I say snore, I mean a raising-the-dead-from-the-grave kind of S-N-O-R-E!” said Blogger Mary Kyle.

Kyle joked about muffling her husband’s snoring with “ear muffs designed to block out the sound of gun fire on the range,” but sleepless nights like these are common in many American households.

Snoring can be harmless. But some snoring signals obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Not all people who snore suffer from OSA. An estimated one in eight Americans snores. Of these 30 million snorers, more than half, or 18 million, suffer from sleep apnea.

Kyle explained her fear that in addition to causing marital strife and general grumpiness, OSA could raise her husband’s risk for heart disease.

Because people with OSA are forced to wake up throughout the night to breathe properly, they fail to get restorative sleep. Left untreated, OSA can increase their risk for heart attacks, strokes and hypertension.

Snoring that is associated with OSA is often loud and frequent. The snorer may make choking or snorting sounds while gasping for air. There may be moments of silence when the person stops breathing altogether. These pauses can last for 10 to 30 seconds or persist for a minute or longer.

Many people do not realize that snoring can merit medical attention. Read here why some experts believe popular media is partially to blame.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Q & A: Why do I fall asleep during the day?

Can’t keep your eyes open during the day? This Q & A article from the Chicago Daily Herald may explain why.

The reader’s question was as follows:

I often fall asleep as soon as I sit down. It can happen anywhere and anytime. I don't realize I've fallen asleep. I fall asleep when I come home from work, at social functions, when family or friends are visiting, and at the dinner table. I've done this for 25 years but it's getting worse as I get older. Do you know what condition would cause this? Is treatment available?

In his answer, Dr. Howard LeWine describes sleep apnea as the most common cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.

He provides several telltale signs of sleep apnea:

• Loud snoring four or more times per week
• Someone telling you that you stop breathing or gasp for air during sleep
• Daytime drowsiness
• Morning headaches
• A large neck - 17 inches or more in men, 16 inches or more in women
• History of high blood pressure

More risk factors are included in this list. You can use this test to determine your risk for sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea can damage memory and concentration, cause heart problems, and raise your risk for driving accidents.

Speak with your doctor about scheduling a sleep test if you show signs of sleep apnea. A sleep specialist will use a sleep test to diagnose this disorder and decide the best treatment option for you.

Friday, April 2, 2010

All Eyes on Sleep Disorders and Floppy Eyelid Syndrome

A new study examined the connection between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and floppy eyelid syndrome.

This blog post on CNN’s Paging Dr. Gupta explains that people with floppy eyelid syndrome have a high risk of having OSA.

The syndrome causes elastic upper lids that are easily folded up. It often affects obese patients. Overweight or obese people also have a high OSA risk.

The study was published in the April issue of Ophthalmology. It included 102 patients with floppy eyelid syndrome and 102 controls.

The researchers found that one-third of patients with floppy eyelid syndrome also had OSA. The association was still statistically significant when controlling for body mass index.

The study authors suggest that doctors be aware of this association and direct further tests and treatment if necessary. Sleep disorders can be diagnosed at an accredited sleep center.

Floppy eyelid syndrome does not have a treatment, but doctors recommend using artificial tears to help relieve dryness.

Sleep apnea has several safe and effective treatments. CPAP and oral appliance therapy are two popular options.

Because OSA is a serious medical condition, patients should seek treatment. OSA can raise a person’s risk for diabetes, stroke and heart problems. It often leads to excessive daytime sleepiness.

Common signs of OSA include loud snoring and trouble breathing during sleep. Take this quiz to find out your risk for sleep apnea.

Image by Kate Shirley

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Ripple Effect: Sleep Apnea’s Toll on the Body

A new Gallup poll found that sleep apnea’s effect on the body might go further than people know.

Data indicates that untreated sleep apnea can increase a person’s risk for high blood pressure, diabetes and heart attack.

Now, a poll of 350,000 U.S. adults indicates that these diseases, in turn, can raise a person’s risk for cancer.

Researchers conducted the survey by phone between 2008 and 2009. All of the participants were 18 years or older. When controlled for age, the results remained unchanged.

Five percent of people who did not have high blood pressure had been diagnosed with cancer. In contrast, 11.8 percent of people with high blood pressure had also been diagnosed with cancer.

More than six percent of people without diabetes had been diagnosed with cancer. In contrast, more than 12 percent of people with diabetes had also been diagnosed with cancer.

Americans with a history of heart attacks were three times more likely to report being diagnosed with cancer than people who had never had a heart attack.

The largest gap was found in 18 to 29 year-olds. More than 17 percent of patients who had had a heart attack were also diagnosed with cancer. In contrast, only 1.2 percent of people without a heart attack history had received a cancer diagnosis.

The study notes that while these results do not indicate that one condition causes the other, they do reflect shared risk behaviors like smoking and unhealthy eating habits.

Image by Gary Foulger

Disclaimer

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.