Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Study Confirms Sleep Apnea-Dementia Connection

On this blog, we have long been warning about the link between sleep apnea and dementia, including the fact that 70-80% of dementia sufferers have sleep apnea as well, and that treating sleep apnea often helps improve the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Now a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association confirms that connection. Using a larger (but also significantly older) study population than previous studies, this new report shows that sleep apnea may double your risk of dementia.

This study looked at nearly 300 women with a mean age of 82, and looked at the presence of dementia in the two sub-populations of women with sleep-disordered breathing and women without sleep disordered breathing. Overall, any form of sleep-disordered breathing increased the risk of dementia or other cognitive impairment by about 85%. Further, more than 15 apneic or hypopneic events per hour were associated with a 70% increase in the risk of cognitive impairment or dementia, and people who spent more than 7% of their sleep time in apnea or hypopnea had more than double the risk of suffering from dementia.

Sleep apnea treatment that is comfortable and effective is essential for patients of all ages, from children to the elderly. If you or a relative is suffering from sleep apnea, it is crucial that you learn about your treatment options today.

To learn about all your sleep apnea treatment options, please contact a sleep dentist today.

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posted by Dr. Candelaria at 11:46 PM