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Elderly Women With Sleep Apnea at Higher Risk for Dementia

Posted Sep 14 2011 9:00am

@Comstock, Getty Images
Elderly women with sleep apnea had an 85% higher risk of developing mild cognitive impairment or dementia than elderly women without sleep apnea according to researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

They studied 298 women, roughly a third were diagnosed with sleep-disordered breathing. The average age of the women was 82. 

Five years after the study, investigators conducted cognitive function tests designed to detect brain health and cognitive impairment. They found that:
  • 45% of study participants with sleep apnea developed cognitive impairments, compared with 31% of women without sleep apnea.
Sixty percent of elderly people suffer from sleep-disordered breathing, which means addressing apnea may boost cognitive health.
You can do some things to prevent sleep apnea and some are rooted in the myriad of chronic conditions we suffer from already. Check with your doctor to see if the following would benefit you.
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