In a recent study, women with hypertension and/or obesity were more likely to experience sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which there are frequent pauses in breathing during sleep. The University of Sweden aimed to investigate the frequency and risk factors of sleep apnea in women.
The study analyzed 400 women from a random sample of 10,000, aged 20-70 years old. The participants answered a questionnaire and also had an overnight polysomnography (sleep examination). The results found that obstructive sleep apnea was present in 50% of women aged 20-70 years old. This research found links between age, obesity and hypertension: 80% of women with hypertension and 84% of obese women suffered from sleep apnea. Interestingly, the women with sleep apnea did not complain of daytime sleepiness therefore, they may not realize they are at risk.
Sleep apnea, a potentially dangerous condition, has been linked to many other co morbidities including; type 2 diabetes, thyroid problems, heart disease, etc. If you are concerned that you may have sleep apnea or have any of the above mentioned health conditions, please contact the Sleep Institute of New England for an evaluation. 603-347-8810