Sleep Apnea Death Risks
Sleep Apnea Linked to Car Wrecks, Diabetes, Heart Attack, Pregnancy Woes
WebMD News Archive
Sleep Apnea and Car Crashes continued...
All sleep apnea patients appeared to be at risk of crashing their cars. The
problem wasn't limited to those with severe apnea.
"It didn't matter how severe your sleep apnea was. We found that you still
have the same increased risk even if you have mild sleep apnea," Mulgrew
And patients seemed unable to tell when they were at greater risk. Patients
who said they drove even when they felt sleepy were no more likely than other
sleep apnea patients to wreck their cars.
The results of the study were so striking that Mulgrew now carefully asks
his sleep apnea patients about their driving histories and about any "near
misses" they might be having. He is much more likely to recommend the most
apnea treatment -- a continuous positive air pressure or CPAP device -- to
patients with driving problems, even if their sleep apnea is relatively
Sleep Apnea and Diabetes
While evaluating older, obese men for a sleep apnea study, Botros and his
Yale colleagues noticed that about a third of the patients suffered from
diabetes as well as sleep apnea.
To see whether the two conditions were related, the researchers kept track
of nearly 600 sleep apnea patients for up to six years. Compared with similar
men without sleep apnea, the patients were more than two-and-a-half times more
likely to develop diabetes.
The more severe the sleep apnea, the higher the patients' risk of
"We know that by measuring markers in the blood that the body of a person
with sleep apnea is in a highly inflammatory, highly excitatory state," Botros
says. "This state increases stress hormones, and we think the insulin-making
pancreatic beta cells are affected."
Botros and colleagues are now looking at whether CPAP treatment can reduce
sleep apnea patients' diabetes risk.
Sleep Apnea and Pregnancy Complications
Sleep apnea is more common among obese people. But the extra weight gain
during the third trimester of pregnancy often puts a woman at risk of sleep
apnea, says Hatim Youssef, DO, of the University of Medicine & Dentistry of
New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.