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Snoring And Increased Risks
It has been known for a long time that snoring can deprive the body of oxygen during long sleeping hours. Scientists now have new evidence that the resulting low levels of oxygen in blood can trigger growth of cancerous tumors.
 
According to The New York Times, about 28 million Americans have some form of sleep apnea but many go undiagnosed. Doctors are very concerned about the condition because it deprives the body of oxygen at night and often occurs with cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. According to The Telegraph, in a study of sleep problems than began 22 years ago, US researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison looked at cancer rates in more than 1,500 people. According to The Inquisitr, the study involving government workers, found that those with severe sleep disordered breathing (SDB) were 4.8 times more likely to die of cancer than those with normal sleep breathing.
 
According to CBS News, in the study to be published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, they found that those with moderate SDB had twice the risk of those with normal sleep breathing, while those with only slight sleep breathing disorder had a 10 percent increased risk. The Huffington Post reports that the most common SDB is obstructive sleep apnea that causes collapse of the airways and blocks airflow. The condition forces the sufferer to wake up suddenly and struggle for breath. Symptoms of sleep apnea include extremely loud snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness and morning headaches. The New York Times reports a related study with several thousands of participants at sleep clinics in Spain.
 
In the Spanish study involving the Spanish Sleep Network, researchers looked at the incidence of cancer and used a measure called the hypoxemia index that estimates the severity of oxygen deprivation during sleep. In the study, about 5,200 participants were monitored over a period of seven years. None of them had cancer when the study began. The researchers found a clear correlation between degree of hypoxemia and the incidence of cancer diagnosis. The study found that people whose oxygen levels during sleep dropped below 90 percent for about 12 percent of sleep time had a 68 percent greater likelihood of developing some form of cancer. Previous research has also associated sleep apnea with a variety of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.
 
In coming to their study conclusions, the researcher factored in the weight of the participants because it is known that overweight is associated with cancer and that snoring is common among overweight persons. The study also took into account other factors such as age, sex, and whether the participant was smoking. They found that even after they had adjusted for these factors there was still a link between SDB and cancer. They found that the association was stronger for participants with normal and healthy weight than those who were overweight. This led the researchers to conclude that sleep disordered breathing could raise the risk of cancer independent of other factors such as obesity that have been linked to cancer.
 
According to The Telegraph, the study noted that laboratory studies have shown that low oxygen level (hypoxia) promotes tumor growth in mice with skin cancer and that it stimulates the growth of vessels nourishing tumors. The researchers observed that depriving mice of oxygen appears to cause their bodies to develop more blood vessels in compensation. The process is called angiogenesis. The New York Times reports that Dr. Joseph Golish, professor of sleep medicine at the MetroHealth System in Cleveland, who was not involved in the study, said: “This is really big news. It’s the first time this has been shown, and it looks like a very solid association." According to The Telegraph, lead researcher Dr. Javier Nieto, said: "The consistency of the evidence from the animal experiments and this new epidemiologic evidence in humans is highly compelling." He said that laboratory and animal studies "suggest that intermittent hypoxia promotes angiogenesis and tumor growth... Ours is the first study to show an association between SDB and an elevated risk of cancer mortality in a population-based sample." He said, however, that further research was required to provide additional evidence in support of the link the study indicated.
 
He suggested that "the diagnosis and treatment of SDB in patients with cancer might be indicated to prolong survival." The Telegraph reports that the results of the study were presented at the annual conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Francisco and will be published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

 
Snoring and Sleep Apnea 'Increases Cancer Risk'

(Huffington Post UK) Heavy snoring not only keeps you (and no doubt, your partner) awake at night – it could increase your risk of developing cancer, too.

A team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health have given us something to have nightmares over after they discovered that people who snore heavily at night could have untreated ‘sleep disordered breathing’ (SDB) - meaning they could be five times more likely to develop cancer than people who sleep soundly.

Sleep disordered breathing (SDB) is a term that describes a group of disorders characterised by abnormalities of respiratory pattern (pauses in breathing).

The most common SDB is obstructive sleep apnea (abnormal low breathing) caused by a physical block to the airflow during the breathing cycle, forcing the sufferer to suddenly wake up. Symptoms of sleep apnea include extremely loud snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness and morning headaches.
 

The 22-year study of more than 1,500 people discovered that those with severe SDB were 4.8 times more likely to develop cancer. Moderate SDB sufferers were at double the risk of developing cancer.

“Ours is the first study to show an association between SDB and an elevated risk of cancer mortality in a population-based sample,” lead researcher Dr Javier Nieto said in a statement.

Scientists from the study are pointing the blame at low blood oxygen levels (known as intermittent hypoxia) after discovering a significant result in lab mice.

Blood oxygen levels dip during periods of severe sleep apnea as the body struggles to get enough oxygen. When scientists investigated the effect of low blood oxygen and cancer tumour growth in mice, they discovered that lack of oxygen to the blood stimulates the generation of blood vessels that feed malignant tumours.

Researchers believe low blood oxygen levels could have the same effect on humans.

"The consistency of the evidence from the animal experiments and this new epidemiologic evidence in humans is highly compelling,” adds Dr Nieto.

"Clearly, there is a correlation, and we are a long way from proving that sleep apnea causes cancer or contributes to its growth.

"But animal studies have shown that the intermittent hypoxia (an inadequate supply of oxygen) that characterises sleep apnea promotes angiogenesis - increased vascular growth - and tumour growth. Our results suggest that SDB is also associated with an increased risk of cancer mortality in humans."

Sleep apnea has previously been linked to other health problems, such as increased risk of stroke, cardiovascular and heart disease and fatigue.

It’s estimated that around 42% of the UK snore at night, which amounts to 15 million snorers.

Snoring is a coarse sound made by vibrations of the soft palate and other tissues of the mouth, nose and throat (upper airway). It is caused by a partial blockage of the upper airway.

 
Snoring Can Raise Cancer Risk

(London) Snoring and other types of 'sleep disordered breathing', as it is known, can deprive the body of enough oxygen for hours at a time.

Scientists now believe having low blood oxygen levels can trigger the development of cancerous tumors, by promoting the growth of the vessels that feed them.

They say in future doctors could help people fight the disease by stopping them snoring.

Researchers in the US looked at cancer rates in more than 1,500 people, in a study of sleep problems that has been going for 22 years.

They found those with severe sleep disordered breathing (SDB) were 4.8 times more likely to develop cancer than those who had no such problems.

Those with moderate SDB were at double the risk, while those with only a slight problem had a 10 per cent increased chance, according to the group, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

By far the most common type of sleep disordered breathing problem is obstructive sleep apnoea.

In this, the airway frequently collapses during the breathing cycle, leaving the sleeper struggling for breath. Typically this produces snoring and repeated forced waking.

Sleep apnea is already known to be associated with other health problems including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.

As being overweight can cause cancer, it could simply have been the case that snoring had no active role in promoting cancer, and was simply a proxy for obesity.

However, the researchers took into account whether participants were a healthy weight or not, as well as a range of other confounding factors, such as age, sex, and smoking status.

The link between SDB and cancer held true even after these were adjusted for. In fact, the association was stronger for those of a healthy weight than the obese.

The researchers concluded this meant that sleep disordered breathing could itself raise the risk of cancer, rather than just being a general sign of poor health.

Laboratory studies have also shown that intermittent hypoxia - or low oxygen levels - promotes tumor growth in mice with skin cancer. Lack of oxygen stimulates the generation of blood vessels that nourish tumors, a process known as angiogenesis.

Dr Javier Nieto, who led the study, said: "The consistency of the evidence from the animal experiments and this new epidemiologic evidence in humans is highly compelling."

Laboratory and animal studies "suggest that intermittent hypoxia promotes angiogenesis and tumor growth".

He continued: "Ours is the first study to show an association between SDB and an elevated risk of cancer mortality in a population-based sample."

He said further research was needed to prove the link beyond doubt, but said if the relationship was firmly established, "the diagnosis and treatment of SDB in patients with cancer might be indicated to prolong survival".

The results were presented on Sunday at the annual conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Francisco. They will also be published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

 

 
Snoring Linked to Cancer
CLEVELAND: Two new studies have found that people with sleep apnea, a common disorder that causes snoring, fatigue and dangerous pauses in breathing at night, have a higher risk of cancer.

The new research marks the first time that sleep apnea has been linked to cancer in humans. About 28 million Americans have some form of sleep apnea, though many cases go undiagnosed.

For sleep doctors, the condition is a top concern because it deprives the body of oxygen at night and often coincides with cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.

"This is really big news," said Joseph Golish, a professor of sleep medicine with the MetroHealth System in Cleveland who was not involved in the research.

Golish, the former chief of sleep medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, said that the cancer link may not prove to be as strong as the well-documented relationship between sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease, "but until disproven, it would be one more reason to get your apnea treated or to get it diagnosed if you think you might have it" .

In one of the new studies, researchers in Spain followed thousands of patients at sleep clinics and found that those with the most severe forms of sleep apnea had a 65% greater risk of developing cancer of any kind. The second study, of about 1,500 government workers in Wisconsin, showed that those with the most breathing abnormalities at night had five times the rate of dying from cancer as people without the sleep disorder. Both teams only looked at cancer diagnoses and outcomes in general, without focusing on any specific type of cancer.

In both studies researchers ruled out the possibility that the usual risk factors for cancer, like age, smoking, alcohol use, physical activity and weight, could have played a role. The association between cancer and disordered breathing at night remained even after they adjusted these and other variables.

Mitesh Borad, a cancer researcher and assistant professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic who was not involved with the studies, called the findings "provocative" but said more research was needed to confirm the association.

Recent animal studies have suggested that sleep apnea might play a role in cancer . When mice with tumors were placed in low-oxygen environments that simulate the effects of sleep apnea, their cancers progressed more rapidly . Scientist speculate that depriving mice of oxygen may cause their bodies to develop more blood vessels to compensate, an effect that could act as a kind of fertilizer for cancer tissue and cause tumors to grow and spread more quickly. Researchers wondered whether a similar relationship might exist in humans.
 
©2011 The New York Times News Service
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