Sleep-disordered breathing leads to faster aging, study

June 17, 2019

A restless sleep pattern often results in reduced blood oxygen saturation that is restored upon waking. As the name suggests, sleep-disordered breathing, characterised by abnormal respiration during sleep, may cause excessive daytime sleepiness and adverse effects if left unchecked.

Xiaoyu Li, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston, said people with a higher biological than their chronological age exhibit fast aging. This and multiple age-related health disorders are associated with severe sleep-disordered breathing, according to authors of a sleep/biological age study at BWH.

The study also highlights that women may be particularly susceptible to the adverse effects. Even though women are often considered to be at lower risk for health outcomes related to sleep-disordered breathing, the associations of each sleep-disordered breathing trait with age acceleration were stronger in women than in men.

Supported by America’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), the study involved some 620 adults with a mean age of 69 years. Participants’ sleep was measured at home using a polysomnograph machine and the necessary associations were estimated.

As sleep-disordered breathing is common and modifiable, simply changing bedtime habits can work wonders – timely treatment should improve age-related chronic conditions and longevity.


Category: Education, Features

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