The dangers of sleep apnea are no mystery. There are well-known studies that prove its link to heart disease, stroke, and other major health problems. But this study published in the August issue of SLEEP magazine suggests that leaving sleep apnea untreated vastly increases death rate in its sufferers. Explore the details of this 18-year long study that reveals alarming facts about sleep apnea.
Details of the Study
This study, known as the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study followed 1522 participants and tracked their progress during sleep studies at 4-year intervals. The sample was random, and participants were not chosen based on their ability to sleep well. Of those chosen for the study, 4% had severe sleep apnea, 20% had moderate sleep apnea, and 76% had none. Ultimately, the long timeline and large sample size give this study an ample amount of credibility.
What was Learned from the Study?
Since this study observed the severity of sleep apnea and death records over a long period of time, a number of useful conclusions can be drawn.
- Those with 30+ breathing pauses during sleep had a 5x higher death rate
- The study found links between sleep apnea and hypertension, stroke, and depression
- 19% of the participants with severe sleep apnea had died during the study
- 4% of participants with no sleep apnea had died
- Those who used CPAP treatment had a significantly lower death rate
What Does this Mean for those with Sleep Apnea?
Results of the study show that untreated sleep apnea effectively triples the death rate in sufferers. It also proved that CPAP treatment is useful for reducing the death rate in sufferers of sleep apnea. With such alarming results about the damage caused by sleep apnea, this study further shows that snoring shouldn’t be dismissed as a harmless action, but should result in a sleep test to ensure that a sleep disorder isn’t the culprit.
Need Sleep Apnea Treatment in Tucson, AZ?
Sleep apnea is not a condition to take lightly. Left untreated, it poses a threat to your health and even your life. Dr. Brett Barney specializes in sleep treatment that makes a difference. Whether you’ve been snoring and aren’t sure why or you’re battling a severe case of sleep apnea, our dental team in Tucson, AZ can help you. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.