Obstructive sleep apnea as a cancer risk factor
ERS 2022

People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have an increased risk of developing cancer. This is also the result of a large study presented at the International Congress of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) in Barcelona.1

OSA is a common sleep disorder in which the airway is partially or completely blocked during sleep and breathing stops several times in the night. The consequences are loud snoring, wheezing, choking, or daytime sleepiness. Risk factors include obesity, diabetes, smoking or excessive alcohol intake.

Dr Andreas Palm from Uppsala University, who presented the study, explains: “It is already known that patients with obstructive sleep apnea are at increased risk of developing cancer, but it was previously not clear whether this was due to the obstructive sleep apnea itself or other risk factors. associated with cancer, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and lifestyle factors. Our results show that oxygen deprivation due to obstructive sleep apnea is independently associated with cancer.”

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