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Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and Comorbidities

People with untreated obstructive sleep apnoea may have well forgotten what a good night’s sleep is. Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) causes recurring obstruction of the upper airway of a person thus causing him to repeatedly wake up at least 30 times in an hour.
What is Co-morbidity?
OSA is not merely snoring or cessation of breath while one sleeps. It is a serious condition as it is coupled with co-morbidities. What are co-morbidities? These are medical conditions that may occur simultaneously but independently with OSA. Co morbidity may also pertain to possible interactions between health conditions or illnesses that may affect the diagnosis and course of a particular disease or diseases.

OSA Co-morbidities
Scientific studies indicate that people with undiagnosed and untreated OSA are more likely to acquire co morbidity in immunologic, cardiac, metabolic and neurologic functions. In the U.S. along, there is indication that around 75% of diabetics and stroke patients, and a third of heart disease patients have sleeping disorder.

The Sleep Health Foundation Organisation of Australia said that OSA patients are more prone to develop diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, depression and metabolic syndrome. Studies point out that persons with untreated obstructive sleep apnoea are four to nine times more prone to incidents in the workplace and vehicular accidents.
Several scientific studies also concluded that children with OSA are more at risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) - a behavioural disorder that is characterised by inattention and over-activity that may lead to emotional and learning problems.

Probable Co-occurring illnesses with OSA
Untreated sleep apnoea has its medical consequences. The following diseases may or may not be direct consequences of OSA as it is possible that the sleep disorder is a symptom of a particular health condition. Some of the known co morbidities of OSA are: depression, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, adult asthma, metabolic syndrome, acid reflux and liver problems.

Under cardiovascular diseases are heart valve problems, congestive heart failure, stroke and arrhythmia. Cluster symptoms of metabolic syndrome include high blood pressure, high blood sugar level, high cholesterol level and excess body fat on the waist. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke is increased with the manifestation of the said symptoms.

Several medical studies concluded that the development of coronary artery disease in people with OSA is increased by 27%. Studies also indicate that 70% of OSA patients have systemic hypertension and that they are three times more prone to developing type 2 diabetes. OSA could also be a symptom of an auto-immune disease.

Untreated OSA and Its Consequences
It has been documented that untreated OSA leads to poor academic performance in children and poor job performance and productivity in adults. Based on information gathered by Austroads people with untreated OSA are two to seven times more likely to figure in a motor vehicle accidents, have impaired driving performance. Those with severe OSA have a higher incidence of motor vehicle accidents than those with mild to moderate OSA.

Behavioural modifications such as proper sleeping position, weight loss, and avoidance of sedatives and alcohol could correct mild OSA. For those with moderate to severe OSA, non-invasive yet effective treatment option is the use of continues positive airway pressure or CPAP.

NSW CPAP can help you with OSA. We have the expertise to diagnose and offer advice and treatment for your sleeping disorder.

Call us today at 1300 414 190.
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