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Severe sleep apnea increases risk of death


WASHINGTON Sleep apnea can do more than interfere with a sound sleep—it can also increase risk of death, according to a report.

The report, published in the journal Sleep, was the result of an 18-year study that found sleep apnea increased the risk of death from any cause by causing the person’s health to deteriorate over time.

The research team that conducted the study examined 1,522 men and women aged 30 to 60. Among the control group, the death rate was 2.85 per 1,000 people each year. Among those with mild to moderate sleep apnea, it was 5.54 and 5.42 per thousand, while the rate was 14.6 per thousand among those with severe sleep apnea. More than 40 percent of deaths among those with severe sleep apnea resulted from cardiovascular disease.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute estimates that sleep apnea affects 12 million to 18 million Americans.

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