Snoring may be linked to cancer

By • Published: August 27th, 2012
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

People with snoring problems can be the center of a lot of jokes. But snoring is no laughing matter. Not only can snoring cause many restless nights for your significant other, it can be a symptom of sleep apnea, a sleep-disordered breathing condition.

Twenty-eight million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a serious medical condition that disrupts breathing and is linked with high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Now researchers say another serious medical condition can be linked with sleep-disordered breathing conditions like snoring and sleep apnea.

A new study from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health shows that people who suffer from severe sleep-disordered breathing are almost five times more likely to die from cancer as people who don’t have these conditions.

Researchers found the more severe a person’s breathing problems are at night, the higher the risk of dying from cancer. Those people in the study with moderate sleep-disordered breathing were two times more likely to develop cancer while the risk only increased by about one-tenth in those with mild problems.

Health experts say sleep-disordered breathing problems can lead to low blood oxygen levels. Scientists believe low blood oxygen levels can cause tumors to develop by spurring growth in the blood vessels that feed the tumors.

The new findings mark the first time that sleep apnea has been linked to cancer in people.

Remember, occasional snoring is a common condition that can affect anyone and is mostly just a nuisance to your bed partner. But, if you saw logs on a nightly basis, you may be at risk for more serious problems than an elbow in the ribs from your significant other.

So for the sake of your health … and your partner’s sanity … you may want to seek medical help to stop the snoring.