Thursday, February 17, 2011

Heavyweights Tag-Teamed by Sleep Apnea’s Partners

A new study in the journal Sleep and Breathing shows that people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may pit themselves against more than just a breathing disorder.

OSA occurs when a person’s throat collapses during sleep, disrupting their breath and repeatedly arousing them from sleep. It is associated with snoring and daytime sleepiness. OSA affects approximately four percent of men and two percent of women in the U.S.

A group of India-based researchers found that OSA patients were three times more likely to experience obesity, hypertension, diabetes, mellitus and hyperlipidemia (HLP). People with HLP have high blood cholesterol and triglycerides.

The study included 234 adults 54 years of age or more who tested positive for OSA. Compared to members of the 56 control group, who demonstrated an average of one pause in breath per hour, members of the OSA group experienced 31 pauses in breath per hour.

Body weight also varied between the control group and OSA patients. The body mass index was 36 among OSA patients in contrast to 29 for the control group.

Of the OSA group, 30 percent of patients had HLP, 59 percent were diabetic and 86 percent were hypertensives. Nonrestorative sleep, awakening with choking, nocturnal dyspnea, insomnia with frequent awakenings, nocturia, and diaphoresis were observed in more than 80 percent of patients.

Results indicate that sleep-disordered breathing syndrome was strongly associated with the metabolic syndrome.

Weight loss has been shown to reduce OSA severity. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends weight loss, oral appliance therapy, and CPAP for OSA treatment.

Image by Choo Yut Shing

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The ABC’s of Snoring and Childhood Cognition

Snoring kids can be cute, but snoring may reflect a serious problem. New research in the journal Sleep and Breathing found that primary snoring (PS) is associated with neurocognitive impairments in children.

The community-based study included 1,114 primary school children. The researchers identified 410 children who never snored, and 92 children who habitually snored.

Polysomnogram (PSG) scores distinguished children with PS from those with upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Children with UARS and OSA actually experience pauses in breath that can prevent restorative sleep.

Neurocognitive impairments and poor school performance were compared between children who never snored, those with PS, and those with UARS or OSA.

Of the 92 snorers, 69 had PS while 23 had UARS or OSA.

Compared to children who never snored, children with PS demonstrated significantly more hyperactive and inattentive behavior. They also had a higher risk for poor school performance in mathematics, science and spelling. The risks for PS were on par for children with UARS or OSA.

These results show that children with non-apneic PS may exhibit significant neurocognitive impairments. Consequences may be similar to those associated with UARS or OSA. If confirmed, PS is not “benign” and may require treatment.


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.