April 22, 2014

Sleep Apnea Increases Risk of Cancer

Obstructive sleep apnea has been getting accused of causing all sorts of medical problems including hypertension, stroke, heart disease, heart attacks, peripheral vascular disease, etc. We can also add cancer now.

According to Australian researchers, moderate to severe sleep apnea increases the risk of cancer by 2.5 times and death from cancer by 3.4 times. They also reported that sleep apnea increases risk of death (any cause) by 4.2x and stroke by 3.7x.

This conclusion was reached evaluating 397 subjects with obstructive sleep apnea with 20 years follow-up. Of course, further study is needed to confirm these findings.

If sleep apnea is suspected, the first step is to get a sleep study. Surgical options can also be considered which may encompass UPPP, base of tongue reduction, etc.

Sleep Apnea and 20-Year Follow-Up for All-Cause Mortality, Stroke, and Cancer Incidence and Mortality in the Busselton Health Study Cohort. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine 2014;10(4):355-362.
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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