Researchers identify a potential new risk for sleep apnea: Asthma

Posted: 5/20/2013

From MedicalXpress:

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have identified a potential new risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea: asthma. Using data from the National Institutes of Health (Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)-funded Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study, which has been following approximately 1,500 people since 1988, researchers found that patients who had asthma were 1.70 times (95% CI=1.15-2.51) more likely to develop sleep apnea after eight years.

"This is the first longitudinal study to suggest a causal relationship between asthma and sleep apnea diagnosed in laboratory-based sleep studies," said Mihaela Teodorescu, MD, MS, assistant professor of medicine at the university, who will present the research at ATS 2013. "Cross-sectional studies have shown that OSA is more common among those with asthma, but those studies weren't designed to address the direction of the relationship."

 The connection between asthma and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) was even stronger among participants who developed asthma as children. Childhood-onset asthma was associated with 2.34 times (95% CI=1.25-4.37) the likelihood of developing sleep apnea. Read more.