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Male health linked closely to sleep

04-09-2013

Ok, blokes, this one is for you. Did you know that your overall health and wellbeing is intimately linked to sleep? Well it is. It is for ladies too but in different ways, this article will explain the connections, in particular between obesity and obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a condition where the sleeper stops breathing, these pauses are called apneas. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea and it occurs when the windpipe is obstructed.  These apneas cause the sleeper’s sleep to be disturbed and can lead to an number of long term physical and mental consequences. Sleep apnea is quite a common sleep problem, with around 5-7 percent of the population suffering from it.

Obesity is one of the most risk factors when it comes to obstructive sleep apnea. More specifically, so called visceral fat,  which is a kind of fat that accumulates around the abdomen, is increasingly seen as a significant risk factor for sleep apnea in men.

The visceral fat of the abdomen is  found inside the abdominal cavity, wrapped around the body’s organs. Visceral fat is a significant risk factor for many different health problems such as  cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and as it turns out, sleep apnea. While men and women are at both at risk of suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, men are more likely to be diagnosed with it and it is believe that they consequences of obstructive sleep apnea are more serious for men.

New research has shown that there is a strong connection between visceral fat and sleep apnea, a link that is far more potent in men than in women. They looked at the relationship between visceral fat and obstructive sleep apnea in both genders and  found that there was a strong connection between sleep apnea and visceral fat accumulation among men, but not among women.

The researchers analyzed the relationships among different measurements of body mass and fat accumulation and indicators of  obstructive sleep apnea and found that there were important differences between these relationships in men and in women.

They found that while BMI and waist circumferences were found to be similar in both men and women, the men in the study generally had a greater accumulations of visceral fat than women. The men were more likely to have severe obstructive sleep arena as well as severe dyslipidemia – which is an abnormal levels of lipids in the blood.

They also found that visceral fat accumulation in men was associated with two indicators of low blood oxygen, both of which are considered indicators of sleep apnea. The visceral fat in men also was associated with age and with body-mass index (BMI) while in women, the researchers could see no association between obstructive sleep apnea and visceral fat accumulation and that visceral fat in women was only associated with body-mass index.

It would seem that the connection between visceral fat and sleep apnea is one that only men need to concern themselves about.
 


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