Sleep Apnea Associated with Higher Mortality from Cancer: Page 2 of 2

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June 4, 2012

After adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, and smoking, Nieto's study found that both all-cause and cancer mortality were associated with the presence and severity of SDB in a dose-response fashion. People with severe SDB died of cancer at a rate 4.8 times higher than people with no sleep breathing problems.

These associations were similar after excluding the 126 subjects who had used continuous positive airway pressure and were stronger among non-obese subjects than obese subjects.

"In our large population-based sample, SDB was associated with an elevated risk of cancer mortality," concluded Dr. Nieto. "Additional studies are needed to replicate these results. If the relationship between SDB and cancer mortality is validated in further studies, the diagnosis and treatment of SDB in patients with cancer might be indicated to prolong survival."