A new sleep study has revealed that people with asthma have an increased risk for developing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
The Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study consisted of randomly selected adult employees of state agencies, 30 to 60 years of age in 1988. The study participants had to attend in-laboratory overnight polysomnography and provide health-related questionnaires approximately every 4 years.
AdvertisementResearchers found that 22 of 81 participants (27 percent) with asthma experienced incident OSA over their first observed 4-year follow-up intervals vs 75 of 466 participants (16 percent) without asthma. Study participants who already had asthma had nearly 40 percent increased risk for new OSA compared with those without asthma. Asthma duration was related to new OSA and new OSA with habitual sleepiness.
The authors said, "This study prospectively examined the relationship of asthma with OSA assessed with laboratory-based polysomnography and found that pre-existent asthma was a risk factor for the development of clinically relevant OSA in adulthood over a 4-year period. Furthermore, the asthma-OSA association was significantly dose-dependent on duration of asthma. Studies investigating the mechanisms underlying this association and the value of periodic OSA evaluation in patients with asthma are warranted."
The study is published in the 'JAMA'.