Sleep apnea in asthmatics needs closer attention

Sleep apnea in asthmatics needs closer attention

Tough news reported in research results recently published in The Journal of the American Medical Association that persons with asthma were twice as likely to develop sleep apnea as non-asthmatics.

The study was done at the University of Wisconsin and involved thousands of people over a 25-year period. Sleep studies were done every four years in order to observe the frequency with which sleep apnea developed.

The striking outcome was compelling because asthma itself is a frequent cause of disturbed sleep. Hence, if the asthma gets blamed as the sole cause for nighttime wakening, the sleep apnea will go undetected and therefore, untreated.

The Wisconsin researchers suggested greater awareness of this possibility in asthmatics, their families and their doctors. If family members report snoring or apneic episodes, or if the patient has daytime somnolence, a sleep study should be considered.

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