Death risk high in older adults with sleep apnea and daytime sleepiness

April 2nd, 2011 - 4:41 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, April 02 (ANI): A new study has suggested that the risk of death is more than two times higher in older adults who have sleep apnea and report struggling with excessive daytime sleepiness.

Results of adjusted proportional hazards modeling show that older adults with moderate to severe sleep apnea who reported struggling with excessive daytime sleepiness at baseline were more than twice as likely to die as subjects who had neither problem.

The risk of death was insignificant in older adults with only excessive daytime sleepiness or sleep apnea. Participants had a mean age of 78 years at baseline, and about 55 percent died during an average follow-up period of 14 years.

“Excessive daytime sleepiness, when associated with sleep apnea, can significantly increase the risk of death in older adults,” said principal investigator and lead author Nalaka S. Gooneratne, assistant professor of medicine in the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia, Pa.

“We did not find that being sleepy in and of itself was a risk. Instead, the risk of increased mortality only seemed to occur when sleep apnea was also present,” added S. Gooneratne.

The study has been published n the journal SLEEP. (ANI)

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