A study carried out by researchers from the August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute, the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona and the University of Barcelona, which has just been presented at the international congress of the 'American Thoracic Society', held in San Francisco (United States) ), has revealed that people who suffer from sleep apnea are 8.6 times more likely to die as a result of cancer than the rest of the population.
Sleep apnea - which affects around 5% of the population - had already been linked in other previous studies with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disorders, or metabolic or neurocognitive diseases, and according to the data obtained by scientists in this new research, apnea also predisposes to develop cancer, and worsens the prognosis of this disease.
A new study reveals that people who suffer from sleep apnea are 8.6 times more likely to die as a result of cancer than the rest of the population
The authors of the study, in which the University of Wisconsin (USA) and the Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR) collaborated, found in an assay with laboratory mice that when subjected to intermittent hypoxia (deficit of oxygen in the blood) to animals that had melanoma (the most aggressive type of skin cancer), tumor it developed twice as fast as usual, and the tissues also suffered a greater deterioration.
Transferring this model to 1,500 patients, who had been controlled by the University of Wisconsin for 22 years, the researchers observed that patients suffering from severe apneas - which produced more than 30 respiratory interruptions every hour - had a shorter life expectancy , and consider these results very reliable.
Sleep apnea is an increasingly prevalent disease due, above all, to the increase in overweight and obesity, which are risk factors for the onset of this disorder. In addition, many of the people who suffer from apnea are not diagnosed, and only a minority of those who are apnea-approximately 30% of patients with severe apnea-are undergoing some treatment.