Study links spinal-cord injuries, sleep apnea

Thursday, January 16, 2014

DETROIT – Ninety-two percent of patients with spinal-cord injuries sleep poorly and 77% suffer from symptomatic sleep disordered breathing, according to a study published Jan. 15 in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. “Sleep disordered breathing may contribute to increased cardiovascular mortality in spinal cord injury patients,” said M. Safwan Badr, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and a researcher involved in the study. “All spinal cord injury patients should undergo a comprehensive sleep evaluation using full, overnight polysomnography for the accurate diagnosis of sleep apnea.” Researchers studied 26 spinal cord injury patients, 15 with cervical injuries and 11 with thoracic injuries, and found central sleep apnea was more common in those with cervical injuries.