Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. However, more and more research indicates that there are significant differences in the presentation and diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) for women than there are for men.
Writing for The Huffington Post, the Society for Women’s Health Research Network on Sleep recently discussed several key ways in which women with obstructive sleep apnea diverge from men with the same condition. These differences include:
- Women report higher instances of depression and insomnia connected to OSA
- The risk of sleep apnea rises sharply with the onset of menopause – men see no such dramatic increase in risk with age
- Women tend to have fewer instances of observable snoring
- Many women don’t bring a spouse or roommate to their sleep appointment, making it more difficult for the physician to learn about snoring or lapses in breath at night
Most sleep medicine practitioners agree that obstructive sleep apnea is under-diagnosed among women. However, one aspect of OSA that doesn’t change with gender or age is the potential impact of the condition: Women and men with sleep apnea are both in danger of stroke, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and other major health problems.
Early detection and treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is crucial to your overall health. Contact a local sleep doctor or call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) today to start exploring diagnosis options.