Sleep apnea increases risk for pneumonia

Sleep apnea increases risk for pneumonia

The risk increases, according to researchers.

We all know it’s important to get a good night’s rest, but a recent study suggests that people who suffer from sleep apnea, may also have an increased risk for developing pneumonia.

The study, which was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) examined the correlation between sleep apnea and incident pneumonia among adults. The study, which began on Jan. 1, 2000 and continued through Dec. 31, 2010, monitored adult subjects who had been identified as suffering from sleep apnea. The subjects, who were all from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, along with a control group that matched the other subjects in sex and age but lacked sleep apnea, were observed during the 10-year span of the study for cases of pneumonia.

The study found that a total number of 2,757 subjects contracted pneumonia during the study. Of that number, subjects with sleep apnea accounted for 9.36 percent of that number, while the control group only accounted for 7.77 percent. The analysis made from the study showed that those suffering from sleep apnea were more likely to develop pneumonia than those who had no trouble sleeping.

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder in which pauses in breathing or moments of shallow and infrequent breathing occur during sleep. Each pause, or apnea, in breathing can last anywhere from 10 seconds to several minutes, and can occur up to thirty times per hour.

Prior to this study, research regarding the correlation between sleep apnea and incident pneumonia was non existent, except for in sleep apnea patients who suffered from continuous positive airway therapy. The study, which included subjects suffering from continuous positive airway therapy, found that both study participants living with sleep apnea and continuous positive airway therapy both had an increased risk of developing incident pneumonia, with an even more increased risk for those with continuous positive airway therapy.

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