New Research Shows That Hispanic Women With Sleep Apnea are More Likely to Experience Neurocognitive Dysfunction

July 1, 2014 by No Comments

sleep-apnea-home-testAccording to new research presented at the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, adult Hispanic women in the U.S. who experience sleep apnea are more likely to also experience neurocognitive dysfunction.

Dr. Alberto R. Ramos, who works with the department of clinical neurology at the University of Miami, says that, while an unadjusted model indicated that both men and women experienced greater neurocognitive dysfunction alongside sleep apnea symptoms, “After adjusting for covariates, these interactions were attenuated” — in other words, once differentiating factors like age, BMI, and hypertension were accounted for, the association between the two medical conditions only held up for women.

The study analysed 9,714 Hispanic men and women who were between the ages of 45 and 74, and subjects were administered numerous neurocognitive tests. Dr. Ramos says that dementia prevalence is also on the rise, particularly among Hispanics in the U.S.

Although there are several types of sleep apnea, one of the most common — and potentially the most damaging to the body’s overall health — types is obstructive sleep apnea. Patients with this condition experience lapses in breathing while their airway is either temporarily blocked or collapsed.

The findings regarding sleep apnea are important because of sleep apnea’s prevalence: an estimated one in every fifteen Americans have it, yet many remain undiagnosed. Sleep apnea is no small problem — it has previously been linked to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even heart disease.

In a similar study released earlier this month, researchers were also able to uncover a potential link between hearing loss and sleep apnea — this was also a study of the Hispanic community. The study found that participants were 30% to 90% more likely to develop certain types of hearing loss.

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