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NewsBites February 2011 Issue

Snorers Risk Metabolic Syndrome

Snoring may be more serious than just keeping your partner awake: A new study says that loud snorers are at nearly double the risk of develop- ing metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms associated with diabetes and heart disease. University of Pittsburgh scientists studied 812 patients, ages 45-74, in an ongoing community heart- health study. Over three years, 14% developed meta- bolic syndrome. Those reporting loud snoring, diff- culty falling asleep and unsatisfying sleep were at much greater risk of met- abolic syndrome. Among a subset of 294 patients evalutaed for sleep apnea, however, only loud snoring remained signif- cantly associated with metabolic syndrome once the data were adjusted using the apnea- hypopnea index (AHI). Research- ers concluded that healthcare profes- sionals should consider common sleep problems as possible risk factors when assessing patients. It could also be that this is a case of “reverse causation,” since obesity— part of metabolic syndrome—can cause snoring and other sleep problems

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