Sleep Apnea Linked to Higher Spine Fracture in Women

by Samhita Vitta on Sep 10 2020 11:51 AM

Sleep Apnea Linked to Higher Spine Fracture in Women
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may negatively affect bone health in women, according to a new study.
The results are published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Women with a history of OSA may be at a higher risk of the spine or vertebral fractures.

Investigators examined data of 55,264 women without a prior history of bone fractures from the Nurses' Health Study.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) was self-reported in 1.3% of the participants in 2002, and it increased to 3.3% by 2012.

They also reported 461vertebral fractures and 921 hip fractures between 2002 and 2014.

It was observed that women with a history of OSA had a 2-fold higher risk of vertebral fracture when compared to those with no OSA history.

The strongest association was observed for sleep apnea associated with daytime sleepiness. However, no association was observed between OSA history and risk of hip fracture.

"Our study provides important evidence at the population level that obstructive sleep apnea may have an adverse impact on bone health that is particularly relevant to the development of vertebral fracture," said lead author Tianyi Huang, ScD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital.

"Given that we used self-reported clinical diagnoses of sleep apnea and fracture in our study, future studies could use more deeply characterized data to further the understanding of the mechanisms linking sleep apnea to bone health and fracture risk."