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Saturday, February 28, 2015
Sleep apnea linked to bone loss, study claims
A study shows that sleep apnea is linked to bone loss and osteoporosis.
Sleep apnea is tied to osteoporosis and bone fractures, new research finds.
About 54 million Americans over the age of 50 are affected by low bone mass, and about 10 million of them have osteoporosis, which leads to brittle bones and fractures.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs commonly in this population as well, and has been linked to multiple adverse health effects, including high blood pressure, heart disease. and depression.
Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland theorize that sleep apnea may be an unrecognized cause of osteoporosis because it seems to affect bone remodeling, a process necessary for bone health. During remodeling, mature bone is removed from the skeleton and new bone tissue is rebuilt, even while we sleep.
The authors of the new study reviewed research that deals with bone metabolism and found important indications that sleep apnea interrupts the bone remodeling process.
"If sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea affect bone metabolism, they may have diagnostic and therapeutic implications for many patients, including those affected by sleep apnea in their early, bone modeling years," said lead author Dr. Christine Swanson.
The study is published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.