Sleep apnoea linked to cancer death

5 September 2012

Sleep apnoea has been linked to an increased risk in cancer mortality, new research reveals.

Researchers investigated over 5,600 patients in Spain, using a hypoxaemia index, which measures the amount of time during the night that a person experiences low levels of oxygen in the blood.

It was found that people with sleep apnoea who has levels of oxygen saturation of lower than 90 per cent for more than 14 per cent of their sleep had approximately double the relative risk of death due to cancer than those without the sleeping condition.

Furthermore, this association was found to be even stronger in men and younger individuals.

The research, which was presented on Tuesday September 4th at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Conference in Vienna, highlighted the importance of treating sleep apnoea.

Lead author, Dr Miguel Angel Martinez-Garcia from La Fe University Hospital in Valencia, Spain, said: “We found a significant increase in the relative risk of dying from cancer in people with sleep apnoea. This adds to evidence presented earlier this year that found for the first time a link between cancer and sleep apnoea mortality."

Posted by Philip Briggs

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