When untreated, sleep apnea can have a significant effect on your overall health, and it can even be a contributing factor in a number of serious medical conditions, both physical and psychological. In a recent report by Medical News Today, researchers linked sleep apnea to increased risk of cancer, cognitive decline and more. Learn more about the health risks associated with sleep apnea, and schedule your consultation with our dentist, Dr. Dennis Nagata, when you visit Dental Sleep Medicine Hawaii.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea & Cancer
While links between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and cancer have been proven in the past, it was previously believed that the link had more to do with common side effects of sleep apnea such as cardiometabolic disease and obesity, rather than OSA itself. Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden, however, have recently been able to link the oxygen deprivation associated with OSA directly to cancer.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea & Cognitive Decline
The low blood oxygen levels that are symptomatic of obstructive sleep apnea have also been linked to cognitive decline in a study featuring male patients 74 years and older. Compared to a similar control group, patients with low blood oxygen levels displayed more significant declines in memory, executive function and processing speed.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea & Blood Clots
In a study stretching over six years and 7,000 participants, obstructive sleep apnea was shown to increase the risk of developing blood clots. This is consistent with research that has linked sleep apnea and pulmonary embolism and reveals a potentially life-threatening side effect of living with undiagnosed and untreated obstructive sleep apna.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea & Overall Health