Sleep-Disordered Breathing May Raise Mortality Risk
Problem independently predicted mortality; effect was significant in men ages 40 to 70 years
23 aug 2009-- Sleep-disordered breathing may be associated with higher all-cause and cardiovascular-related mortality in middle-aged and older people, particularly men, according to research published online Aug. 18 in PLoS Medicine.
Naresh M. Punjabi, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed data from 6,441 men and women ages 40 years and older who underwent home polysomnography. Subjects -- none of whom was being treated for sleep-disordered breathing with common therapies -- were followed for an average of 8.2 years.
The researchers found that subjects with severe sleep-disordered breathing had higher risk of all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.46). This increased risk of death was significant in men ages 40 to 70 years, but not in men older than 70 years or in women.
"In conclusion, the Sleep Heart Health Study shows that sleep-disordered breathing is an independent predictor of mortality and that this association is not attributable to age, obesity, or other chronic medical conditions. Although the degree of nocturnal hypoxemia was an independent predictor of mortality, arousal frequency and occurrence of central apneas were not," the authors write. "Given the high and likely increasing prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing in the general population, additional research in the form of randomized clinical trials should be undertaken to assess if treatment can reduce premature mortality associated with this common and chronic disorder."
Several co-authors reported financial relationships with makers of medical equipment.