More Bad News on Snoring
I write about snoring often because it remains a poorly understood problem, although one that is often solvable. Many people know by now that the health risks of heavy snoring can be grave indeed, including mood issues, high blood pressure, decreased energy and productivity, even an elevated risk of stroke. But recent news has revealed two more risks: arthritis in adults, and decreased IQ in children with sleep apnea.
Here’s one article on the first study:
Researchers in Taiwan found patients diagnosed with the snoring-related condition sleep apnoea were nearly twice as likely to suffer the joint-damaging disease, Daily Mail reported Thursday.
Scientists believe chronic sleep apnoea can lead to inflammation in blood vessels in the body, which may act as a catalyst for arthritis.
And here’s Britain’s Daily Mail on the childhood issue:
A study carried out at the Melbourne Sleep Centre in Australia found cognitive differences between sleep apnoea sufferers aged 7 to 12 and a control group without sleep problems.
The authors said prolonged sleep apnoea over several years affected a child’s IQ and education, as well as being associated with behavioural problems and poor memory.
Of course associations are not always causal, and it’s possible that the snoring could be part of a larger constellation of health issues, rather than the cause of these issues. Still, it is a stark reminder that gasping for breath during sleep is a perilous way to spend one-third of your life, and that heavy snoring can be a harbinger of more serious difficulties down the road.