Sleep Apnea Has Higher Risk Of Cancer Mortality
Previous studies have linked the sleep disordered breathing (SBD) problems to hypertension, cardiovascular disease, depression and earlier death, but this is the first to find a link to cancer.
Lead author Dr. F. Javier Nieto, chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health commented that the study had subjects with severe SBD had five times higher incidence of cancer deaths, more than just a statistical anomaly. Previous studies in animals have shown similar results, while other studies have linked cancer to possible lack of oxygen or anaerobic cell activity over long periods of time, therefore, it’s possible poor breathing fails to oxygenate the cells sufficiently.
Dr. Nieto, an expert in sleep epidemiology continued:
“Clearly, there is a correlation, and we are a long way from proving that sleep apnea causes cancer or contributes to its growth … But animal studies have shown that the intermittent hypoxia (an inadequate supply of oxygen) that characterizes sleep apnea promotes angiogenesis-increased vascular growth – and tumor growth. Our results suggest that SDB is also associated with an increased risk of cancer mortality in humans.”