Health experts always recommend proper sleep for good health. Previous researches and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report have also showed that sleep deprivation can lead to chronic diseases including high blood pressure, depression, type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, premature death and reduced quality of life. But here is a cause of cheer for the medical world as a new study says even if sleep apnea is linked to a number of health risks, this sleep disorder does not cause cancer.
The researchers at institutions like ICES, University Health Network, Women’s College Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto and the Institute of Health Policy Research have carried a study to find out possible association between cancer and sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs due to problem in breathing for short interval while sleeping, has no association with cancer as it was thought earlier.
Lead researcher Doctor Tetyana Kendzerska from Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) said, “There is a need for a sufficiently large cohort study with a long enough follow-up to allow for the potential development of cancer that adjusts for important potential confounders, examines common cancer subtypes and has a rigorous assessment of both obstructive sleep apnea and cancer.”
For the study, the researchers involved 10,149 patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. The study took place between 1994 and 2010.
During the beginning of the study, 5.1 percent of the participants were diagnosed with cancer. Sometime later, 6.5 percent of people who did not had cancer during the commencement of the study had a baseline incident. Cancers in breast, prostate, colorectal and lung were the most common in the study.
The study authors said, “We were not able to confirm previous hypotheses that obstructive sleep apnea is a cause of overall cancer development through intermittent hypoxemia [low blood oxygen levels.However, in subgroup analyses, we found that the level of oxygen desaturation was associated with the development of smoking-related cancer.”
Government report shows an estimated 70 million people suffer from sleep problems like sleep apnea, insomnia, etc. The CDC data showed that 28 percent of US adults sleep six hours or less, duration that the experts call inadequate, experts say.
The study was published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.