Asthma sufferers may be at a higher risk of developing sleep apnoea, according to the findings of a new US study. The University of Wisconsin research looked at data from around 1500 people since 1988 from the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study, and uncovered a potential link between the two conditions.
The Wisconsin Sleep Cohort programme, funded by the National Institutes of Health, involved participants aged between 30 and 60 in 1988, and consisted of laboratory polysomnographies, clinical assessments and health questionnaires every four years. It was found that those with asthma were 1.70 times more likely to develop sleep apnoea compared to healthy participants. Childhood-onset asthma patients were found to be at an even higher risk of developing the sleep disorder, as they were found to be 2.34 times more likely.
While the study is of too small a scale to represent a statistically-significant case, it is hoped that the findings will lead to more comprehensive data gathering on the connection between asthma and sleep apnoea.
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