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New Studies Further Explore Sleep Apnea’s Impact on Health

sleep apnea treatment

At SleepRight McKinney, we specialize in the sleep apnea treatment and other sleep disorders.

While many people associate obstructive sleep apnea with nightly snoring, treatment of the disorder offers patients far more than just an effective means of stopping snoring.

Sleep apnea prevents patients from receiving the deep sleep they need to feel rested and ready to go the next day. Not only does sleep apnea contribute to daytime drowsiness, trouble concentrating, and mood swings, the disorder can also have a more serious impact on our overall health.

In addition to increasing our risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease, obstructive sleep apnea also makes patients more likely to develop other serious health problems.

Let’s take a look at two new studies that have further advanced our understanding of how sleep apnea impacts our health.

Understanding a New Connection

While much is known about how sleep apnea affects the body, researchers continue to learn more about what potentially causes patients to develop sleep apnea to begin with.

Now, a new study has found that patients with hypothyroidism have a higher likelihood of developing sleep apnea.

The results of the study were recently published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

To begin to better understand the potential connection between hypothyroidism and sleep apnea, researchers from Texas Tech examined data collected as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

A biennial survey, the NHANES is conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a means of generally evaluating the overall health of kids and adults in the U.S.

Using information collected as part of the survey provided researchers with a huge data set they could use to gain an accurate impression of participant health. It included detailed demographic and behavioral information, along with physical examination results and laboratory testing.

After examining the data, researchers estimated that the prevalence of hypothyroidism among U.S. adults to be slightly over 9 percent of the country’s population, or roughly 19 million people.

The results of the study also showed that patients diagnosed with hypothyroidism were also 1.88 times more likely to also develop sleep apnea. Hypothyroid patients undergoing hormone replacement therapy at the time of the NHANES survey were roughly 2.5 times more likely to receive a sleep apnea diagnosis.

Setting the Mood

In a second study, published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology, researchers found that sleep apnea may increase an individual’s risk for mood disorders.

In the study, researchers examined 197 Korean men and women diagnosed with sleep apnea and 788 people without the condition matched for sex, health, and age.

None of the 985 total participants had previously received a diagnosis for depression, anxiety disorder, or bipolar illness.

Researchers followed the study participants for an average of nine years.

Throughout the course of the study, participants with sleep apnea were nearly three time more likely to also receive a diagnosis for depression, and nearly twice as likely to receive a diagnosis for clinical anxiety when compared to those in the control group.

Women with sleep apnea were more likely to develop a mood disorder.

Despite finding this connection, researchers were unable to identify why sleep apnea increases an individual’s risk for developing a mood disorder.

Why Sleep Apnea Treatment Matters

As studies like what we covered above show, treating sleep apnea offers more than just a means of stopping snoring.

A quality night’s sleep matters. Not only does it help you to function better the next day, it can also help to reduce your risk for a variety of significant health problems.

Find out what sleep apnea treatment solutions we have available by contacting SleepRight McKinney today.

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