Women’s sleep disorders explored
Sleep disorders are more frequently diagnosed in men, but women with the same problems may be at greater risk of health problems than previously thought.
Researchers found that the heart problems associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring may show up earlier in women than in men, according to a study presented last week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. They also found that OSA may be under-diagnosed among those who snore.
OSA affects about 22 million Americans, mostly men over age 40. If untreated, it can contribute to high blood pressure, stroke, and cardiovascular problems including chronic heart failure and atrial fibrillation. It is also associated with Type 2 diabetes and depression, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association.
OSA is caused by an airway blockage. Usually the tongue falls against the soft palate on the roof of the mouth, which collapses against the throat.