Posts Tagged ‘sleep apnea’

Sleep Apnea Risk Swells With Asthma

If you have asthma, you may be at increased risk for sleep apnea, too.

A new study assessed the relationship of asthma with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) using laboratory-based sleep studies, and found that pre-existent asthma was a risk factor for the development of clinically relevant OSA in adults over a 4-year period.

What’s more, this association was stronger among those who had asthma longer, according to the authors, led by Mihaela Teodorescu, MD, MS, of the William S. Middleton Memorial Veteran’s Hospital and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison.

OSA is very common and becoming increasingly prevalent among adults with asthma.

It adversely affects health and leads to a higher risk of death.

Earlier studies had suggested an association between asthma and OSA.

This study examined the prospective relationship of asthma with OSA.


Dr Teodorescu and colleagues used data from the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study, a population-based prospective epidemiologic study that included randomly selected adult employees of state agencies, age 30 to 60 years, in 1988.

The patients were recruited to attend overnight sleep studies and fill out health-related questionnaires about every 4 years.

Eligible participants were identified as free of OSA at study entry by 2 baseline sleep studies.

Slightly more than one-quarter of the 81 participants with asthma experienced incident OSA over their first observed 4-year follow-up intervals.

This compared to 16% of the 466 participants without asthma.

With the use of all available 4-year intervals, including multiple 4-year interval observations per participant, those with asthma experienced 45 incident OSA cases during 167 4-year intervals (27%) and those without asthma experienced 160 incident OSA cases during 938 4-year intervals (17%).

The risk of new OSA was increased nearly 40% in participants with preexisting asthma compared with those without asthma after the investigators controlled for sex, age, and baseline and change in body mass index — all factors known to contribute to sleep apnea.

The researchers asked the participants, “Do you have feelings of excessive daytime sleepiness?” to help determine habitual sleepiness.

Asthma duration was related to both new OSA and new OSA with habitual sleepiness, defined as answering “often” (5 to 15 times a month) and “almost always” (more than 15 times a month).

“Studies investigating the mechanisms underlying this association and the value of periodic OSA evaluation in patients with asthma are warranted,” the researchers stated.


If these results are confirmed in a larger study with more asthma cases, the finding would have important clinical relevance, they suggested.

Dr Teodorescu recommends that physicians “look for OSA symptoms among asthma patients.

The literature suggests that OSA worsens asthma.

Treatment for OSA improves asthma symptoms during the day and night, as well as quality of life and lung function measures.

If you identify and treat OSA, the hope is that asthma control will improve.”

The researchers published their results in the January 13 issue of JAMA.

Diabetes in Men Often Goes Under the Radar

Men are more than twice as likely to have undiagnosed diabetes as women, despite the fact that their overall risk for diabetes is similar.

That’s one of the messages of a new campaign by the American Diabetes Association to raise health awareness among men when it comes to conditions like diabetes, sexual dysfunction, and sleep apnea as the Association celebrates Men’s Health Month this June.

“When it comes to men and diabetes management, the main barriers to good health are often a lack of understanding and education of the disease, as well as a fear of having to change their current lifestyle,” said Robert E. Ratner, MD, FACP, FACE, Chief Scientific & Medical Officer, American Diabetes Association.

“During Men’s Health Month, the American Diabetes Association is encouraging all men to get out, get active, and get informed to help Stop Diabetes®.”

Nearly 1 in 8 American men has diabetes, and 1 in 3 has pre-diabetes.

The complications of diabetes are well known and serious, and those risk factors can be significantly controlled through control of the ABCs: A1C (as a measure of glucose control), blood pressure, and cholesterol, particularly low-density lipoprotein.

The health risks for men with diabetes who smoke are even greater than the risks for men who don’t have diabetes, so smoking cessation is even more important.

Studies show an increased risk for heart disease for men both with and without diabetes.

An easy-to-implement diabetes screening score for undiagnosed diabetes, defined as fasting plasma glucose level of 7.0 mmol/L (126 mg/dL) or greater without known diabetes, developed from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data, has been demonstrated to be an improvement over existing methods.

Historically, men are not as comfortable as women when it comes to discussing health issues, which can result in shorter and less healthy lives for men in the US compared to women, says the Association.


Being male also means being more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Cross-sectional studies have documented the co-occurrence of OSA with glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

OSA is linked to an increased risk for diabetes and can also make diabetes harder to control.

Studies show that sleep apnea increases the risk of developing diabetes, independent of other risk factors.

Among patients with more severe sleep apnea, regular positive airway pressure use may attenuate this risk.


In addition, diabetes can often have sexual implications for males, including erectile dysfunction.

However, there are many steps men can do to take better care of their diabetes and general health.

The Association recommends finding a family doctor the patient can trust and to discussion health issues.

In addition, the Association recommends enlisting a friend or family member to help the patient adopt healthy behaviors, such as an exercise partner, to increase the level of physical activity and modify eating habits and portion control.

Also, the Association notes that regular professional care is crucial for keeping diabetes management on track.