This photo was used for illustrative purposes.
Women with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) appear to be at increased risk of getting cancer from men who have the condition, researchers warn.
The study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, is based on analyzes of a registry registry collected in the ESADA European database of a total of about 20,000 adult patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). About two percent of them were also diagnosed with cancer.
"It is reasonable to assume that sleep apnea is a risk factor for cancer or that both conditions share common risk factors, such as being overweight. On the other hand, cancer is less likely to lead to sleep apnea," said Ludger Grote, a professor at University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
According to the researchers, older age is associated with an increased risk of cancer, but adjusting for age, gender, BMI, smoking and alcohol consumption has nevertheless shown a possible link between intermittent hypoxia at night and higher cancer prevalence.
This relationship was mainly for women, and for men it was weaker.
"Our results indicate a risk of cancer that is elevated two to three times in women with severe sleep apnea," Grote said.
Sleep apnea is well known to the general public and is associated with snoring, daily fatigue and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in men, the study said.
This research opens the way to a new perspective – that sleep apnea may be associated with an increased risk of cancer, especially in women.
"Above all, the focus was on the association with one form of cancer: malignant melanoma. Breast or uterine cancer can now become a new area. There may be a combined effect of female sex hormones and stress activation, triggered by sleep hypoxia nights, which may stimulate the development of cancer or weaken the body's immune system, "Grote concluded.
Indo-Asian news service