Sleep Apnea Increases Chance of Pneumonia
We know that sleep apnea is a dangerous condition which has shown causal links to a variety of severe medical problems, including cardiac disease and diabetes. Now a new look at a Taiwanese cohort has uncovered yet another correlation in a study of over 340,000 people:
Among the sleep apnea group, 9.36 percent of participants developed pneumonia compared to 7.77 percent of control participants. Researchers also found that those who developed pneumonia tended to be older and had more illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease and dementia.
At first glance, this seems more like a commonsense result than a provocative finding. If the people with pneumonia are already more likely to get every disease, then it hardly seems worth mentioning that apnea is among them. But apnea appeared to play a special role in this study:
Sleep apnea appears to be an “independent risk factor of incident pneumonia,” researchers wrote. They also concluded that patients with more severe sleep apnea appeared to be at a higher risk for developing pneumonia than those who had milder forms of the condition.
When increasing the severity of one disorder results in a concomitant increase in a different disorder, then there is far more reason to believe there may be a causal link between them. In other words, sleep apnea does seem to be playing a true role in causing pneumonia – possibly, as the researchers theorized, by releasing more fluid into the lungs.
Consider it yet more evidence that interrupted breathing during sleep is dangerous, and should be addressed. To learn about how you can resolve sleep difficulties through sinus surgery in Los Angeles, contact my practice today.