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Suffering from sleep apnoea could make you twice as likely to get cancer study

Margaret Jack  By Margaret Jack   |   Posted in Sleep Research   |   Last updated: Friday 14th September 2012

A recent study which is the largest of its kind has found that suffers of sleep apnoea – a condition that causes people to snore and take dangerous pauses in breathing during sleep – could be twice as likely to die of cancer as those who sleep soundly.

The sleep disorder is already linked to other conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, and now the results suggest that suffers with the highest oxygen deprivation throughout the night are at a greater risk.

The study took place at La Fe University and Polytechnic Hospital in Valencia, Spain, where more than 5600 patients from 7 sleep clinics took part. The researchers looked at the duration for which oxygen in a person's blood dropped below 90% at night. Suffers who spent more than 14% of their sleep with oxygen saturation levels below 90% were twice as likely to develop cancer than those who didn't suffer from sleep apnoea.

If you do suffer from sleep apnoea the best thing to do is to seek advice from your local GP. There are different types of treatment available for the sleep disorder, such as wearing continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask throughout the night to ensure that your airways stays open.

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