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    New study confirms cancer link with obstructive sleep apnoea

    New study confirms cancer link with obstructive sleep apnoea

    New study confirms cancer link with obstructive sleep apnoea
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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    Our findings show that oxygen deprivation due to OSA is independently associated with cancer, said Dr Andreas Palm from Uppsala University, Sweden, who presented his study in Europe.

    Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can lead to a higher risk of cancer, according to a new study. While it was already known that patients suffering from OSA have a higher likelihood of developing cancer, it wasn’t clear to scientists whether the risk was due to suffering from OSA. With the lifestyle factors that lead to OSA also heightening the risks of cancer, the association between cancer and OSA wasn’t clear. But the new study sheds light on the fact that oxygen deprivation caused by OSA can lead to a bigger risk of developing cancer.

    "It is known already that patients with obstructive sleep apnoea have an increased risk of cancer but it has not been clear whether or not this is due to the OSA itself or to related risk factors for cancer, such as obesity, cardiometabolic disease and lifestyle factors. Our findings show that oxygen deprivation due to OSA is independently associated with cancer,” said Dr Andreas Palm from Uppsala University, Sweden, who presented the study at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

    Dr Palm and his team of researchers studied 62,811 patients between July 2010 and March 2018, when they started receiving continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment. CPAP uses pressure differentials to keep airways open and provide sufficient oxygen to the brain of OSA patients. Of these patients, the team selected 2,093 patients with OSA and a diagnosis of cancer up to five years before OSA diagnosis with a control group of 2,093 patients with OSA but no cancer. The OSA severity was then measured for each group to determine any relation between OSA and cancer.

    The researchers found that the patients who suffered from both cancer and OSA had more severe OSA. "We found that patients with cancer had slightly more severe OSA, as measured by an apnoea hypopnea index average of 32 versus 30, and an oxygen desaturation index of 28 versus 26," Dr Palm said.

    In the analysis of subgroups, ODI was higher in patients with lung cancer (38 versus 27) prostate cancer (28 versus 24) and malignant melanoma (32 versus 25).

    While the study was limited in scope, more research is needed to determine the exact association between OSA and cancer.

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