Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), a sleep disorder affects millions of people across the world, may increase cancer risk among women but not in men, says a new study.
For the study, a team of Greek researchers evaluated the data of 19,000 people in order to analyse if a link existed between cancer and OSA.
The researchers looked at the number of times the participants faced complete or partial airways closure in an hour of sleep. Moreover, they also kept a track on how many times the level of blood oxygen of the volunteers fell below 90% during nigh time.
The findings of the data showed that 388 people, i.e. only 2% of the volunteers were diagnosed with cancer. This includes 160 women -2.8% of all women among the group- and 228 men – 1.7% of total men.
The researchers discovered that cancer was more common among women having OSA than compared to those who did not have sleep apnoea. However, the same trend didn’t exist among men.
The researchers suggest that a lower blood oxygen level, which is caused due to restricted breathing, may have played a key role in cancer development.
Notably, men having OSA are likely to snore, feel sleepy or have breathing issues in middle of night while women are likely to have morning headaches, depression, insomnia as well as feel fatigued.
The researchers note that the condition, which is often caused due to smoking, overweight or too much alcohol consumption, can be combated by making lifestyle changes.