Doctors have known for a long time that sleep apnea has been linked to a number of conditions; stroke, high blood pressure, heart attack and diabetes can all be worsened by the disorder. Now, two studies have made things even scarier for sufferers. Research has indicated that sleep apnea has been linked to cancer.
According to a report from The New York Times , scientists in Spain found that patients with severe sleep apnea had a 65 percent greater chance of developing cancer. The second study, involving government employees in Wisconsin, found that people with overnight breathing abnormalities were five times more likely to die from cancer than those without issues.
The results of the Wisconsin study were presented May 20 at the annual American Thoracic Society conference in San Francisco. The researchers assert they were able to rule out other cancer risk factors including smoking, weight, age alcohol use and physical activity. Even after removing these variables, the link to cancer was obvious.