Long-term asthma sufferers were more likely to develop the breathing disorder
Two respiratory disorders—asthma and sleep apnea—may be linked, suggests a new study.
According to the study, which tracked more than 500 randomly selected employees of Wisconsin state agencies, participants who had asthma when the study started were nearly 40 percent more likely to develop the nighttime breathing disorder than non-asthmatics in the study. The study also revealed that longtime asthma sufferers had an even greater risk of developing sleep apnea, which is associated with serious health consequences, including death.
“This study found that pre-existent asthma was a risk factor for the development of clinically relevant OSA in adulthood over a four-year period,” said the study’s lead author Mihaela Teodorescu, M.D., of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
Though the study pointed to an association between asthma and sleep apnea, it couldn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
African Americans have a higher prevalence of asthma than whites, and we are three times more likely to die from the disease.