OSA could lead to more heart disease in women, study says

Friday, October 25, 2013

LOS ANGELES – Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) disrupts body functions controlling blood pressure, heart rate and sweating, more so in women than in men, according to a new study from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Nursing. The study, published in the Oct. 23 edition of PLOS ONE, may indicate women with OSA are more likely to develop heart disease and other health problems, according to its authors. Researchers challenged OSA patients to exhale with their mouths closed, make a firm grip with a hand, and hold their feet in cold water for a minute. During the tests, they found heart rate changes in OSA patients were lower and delayed, and more noticeably so in women. “We now know that sleep apnea is a precursor to bigger health issues,” Paul Macy, lead researcher, told MedicalXpress. “And for women in particular, the results could be deadly.”