Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea is caused by obstruction of the upper airway. It is characterized by repetitive pauses in breathing during sleep, despite the effort to breathe; It’s usually associated with a reduction in blood oxygen saturation. These pauses in breathing are called apneas (meaning “without breath”) and typically last 20 to 40 seconds.
A person with OSA is rarely aware of having difficulty breathing, even upon awakening. It is recognized as a problem by others witnessing the individual during episodes or is suspected because of its effects on the body (sequelae). OSA is commonly accompanied with snoring.
Metabolic Syndrome is a combination of medical disorders such as increased blood pressure, elevated insulin levels, excess body fat around the waist or abnormal cholesterol levels that occur together increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It affects one in five people, and prevalence increases with age. Some studies estimate the prevalence in the USA to be up to 25% of the population.
A study was undertaken to evaluate the prevalence of obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and hyperlipidemia in people with obstructive sleep apnea(OSA). Two hundred thirty-four patients (average age = 54 years) who tested positive for obstructive sleep apnea were compared to a control group.
Patients with OSA had a body mass indexon average of 36 and the control group had a body mass index on average of 29. Thirty-one percent (31%) of patients with OSA had hyperlipidemia, 59 percent (59%) were diabetics and 86 percent (86%) had hypertension. Patients with OSA had significant levels of day time sleepiness, lack of concentration, changes in mood, morning headache, and dry mouth. Eighty percent (80%) of the patients experienced non-restorative sleep, awakening with choking, nocturnal dyspnea, insomnia, nocturia and diaphoresis.
In conclusion, patients with OSA were almost three times more at risk for obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and hyperlipidemia in comparison to the control group.
This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.