Sleep Apnea Is More Common Among Women Than Previously Thought

Sleep apnea is both a respiratory disorder and a sleeping disorder characterized by pauses or decreases in the flow of air during breathing while you sleep.

These pauses or decreases are caused by narrowed, blocked, or floppy air passages.

Elderly Woman SleepingAlthough most people have brief, mild episodes of apnea, usually accompanied by loud snoring, other people suffer from serious effects of this condition, including frequent waking at night, headaches, hyperactivity, impatience, and drowsiness throughout the day.

Even though apnea strikes at night while you’re sleeping, its effects can linger throughout the day. Severe apnea can make you sluggish and depressed, and can even affect your ability to work. For this reason the Social Security Administration recognizes sleep apnea as a qualifying condition for Social Security Disability benefits.

It’s long been believed that men were more likely than women to be affected by sleep apnea. A recent study, however, seems to indicate that sleep apnea is much more prevalent among women than was previously believed.

The study suggests that hypertension and obesity contribute to apnea also among women although it has long been believed that hypertension and obesity contribute to apnea mostly just among men.

Overall, the recent study, conducted in Sweden, found that half of the women examined had some form of sleep apnea. However, 80% of the women considered obese experienced some form of sleep apnea, and 84% of women suffering from hypertension had some form of sleep apnea.

While 6% of all women in the study suffered from severe sleep apnea, 14% of women between ages 55 and 70 suffered from severe sleep apnea. Meanwhile, nearly a third—31%—of women aged 55-70 who were obese suffered from severe sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea is more than just an inconvenience. It can increase your risk of stroke, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and sexual dysfunction.

It’s long been known that men—especially those over 55—can reduce their risk of suffering from apnea by monitoring their weight and blood pressure, but now the evidence suggests women over 55 can reduce their risk by taking the very same precautions.

 If you’re at risk for apnea or any other serious health condition, chances are  Original Medicare alone won’t provide the coverage you’re looking for. Give MedicareMall a call today to learn how Medicare supplement insurance or Medicare Advantage can provide the added protection you need.

If you suffer from sleep apnea, please leave a comment telling us how it affects your life—along with any suggestions that may help others.

Sleep Apnea Is More Common Among Women Than Previously Thought © 2012


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