Osteoporosis risk heightened among sleep apnea patients

A diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea may raise the risk of osteoporosis, particularly among women or older individuals, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes brief interruptions in breathing during sleep. Obstructive , the most common form, occurs when a person's airway becomes blocked during sleep. If sleep apnea goes untreated, it can raise the risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.

"Ongoing sleep disruptions caused by obstructive sleep apnea can harm many of the body's systems, including the skeletal system," said one of the study's authors, Kai-Jen Tien, MD, of Chi Mei Medical Center in Tainan, Taiwan. "When sleep apnea periodically deprives the body of oxygen, it can weaken bones and raise the risk of osteoporosis. The progressive condition can lead to bone fractures, increased medical costs, reduced quality of life and even death."

The retrospective cohort study used records from Taiwan's single-payer National Health Insurance program to track treatment of 1,377 people who were diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea between 2000 and 2008. During the course of the next six years, researchers compared the rate of osteoporosis in this group of obstructive sleep apnea patients to 20,655 people comparable in age and gender who did not have the sleep disorder.

Researchers found the incidence of osteoporosis was 2.7 times higher among patients with sleep apnea than their counterparts, after adjusting for age, gender, other medical problems, geographic location and monthly income. Women and older individuals faced increased risk of developing the bone condition.

"As more and more people are diagnosed with worldwide, both patients and health care providers need to be aware of the heightened risk of developing other conditions," Tien said. "We need to pay more attention to the relationship between sleep apnea and bone health so we can identify strategies to prevent ."

More information: The study, "Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Risk of Osteoporosis: A Population-Based Cohort Study in Taiwan," was published online, ahead of print.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Sleep-disordered breathing linked to functional decline

Dec 06, 2014

(HealthDay)—For older women, sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is associated with functional decline, according to a study published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Sleep apnea linked to poor aerobic fitness

Nov 24, 2014

People with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea may have an intrinsic inability to burn high amounts of oxygen during strenuous aerobic exercise, according to a new study led by researchers at University ...

Sleep apnea may contribute to kidney disease progression

Nov 14, 2014

Sleep apnea may accelerate kidney function decline in diabetic patients with kidney disease, according to a study that will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2014 November 11-16 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.