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Israeli study makes sleep apnoea claim

10-12-2009

Researchers in Israel have claimed that sleep apnoea strengthens the heart and brain and is not damaging to health as widely believed, according to reports. The study of 600 over-65s reportedly found that sleep apnoea sufferers had less than half the risk of early death than those without the condition. Furthermore, those with severe cases of the illness were found to have the same levels of early death risk as participants in the ‘healthy’ control group.

The report claims that the regular pauses in breathing characterised by sleep apnoea helps to prime the heart and brain against breaks in oxygen and blood supplies, thus helping prepare for heart attacks and strokes.

Leading international sleep specialists have somewhat distanced themselves from unconventional results of the study.

“It is better to get heavy snoring treated rather than assume it will prolong life,” said Professor Jim Horne from the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University.

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