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Cancer & Sleep Apnea – Cruel Bedfellows!

July 19th, 2012   |   Posted in: Dr. Halstrom News, Education Centre, silencer-news, Uncategorized

Study links sleep apnea, risk of dying from cancer

July 19, 2012

By Becca Milliron – For the Mirror , The Altoona Mirror

Sleep apnea has been linked to cardiovascular disease along with other health issues. Recently a new study, by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), has linked sleep apnea with the risk of dying from cancer.

The results show that low oxygen levels increase vascular and tumor growth. Mortality rates increase when sleep apnea and cancer or cardiovascular disease are present. Dr. Mehrdad Ghaffari, medical director of the Altoona Regional Institute for Sleep Medicine, emphasizes the need to seek medical attention for sleep issues.

“Twenty years ago, there wasn’t much attention to treating sleep disorders with medicine,” Ghaffari said. “Now if it’s not treated, not only will daily life be affected but there could be severe health consequences.”

Sleep apnea is characterized as the pausing of breathing that drops oxygen supply in the blood while sleeping. It can cause snoring or daytime sleepiness.

“Not getting enough oxygen while sleeping can lead to heart problems, strokes and high blood pressure. With the new link to higher cancer mortality, this should be the push for people to seek medical help,” Ghaffari said.

Patients with the most common sleep apnea, those with 30 or greater incidents with less than average oxygen levels within an hour, are five times more likely to die from cancer than a patient without sleep apnea.