Portrait of mature woman sitting in countrysideFindings of a recently concluded research study at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland has revealed that Sleep apnea is directly related with the osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Nearly 54 million Americans over the age of 50 are affected by low bone mass, and about 10 million of them have osteoporosis, which leads to brittle bones and fractures.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs commonly in this population as well, and has been linked to multiple adverse health effects, including high blood pressure, heart disease and depression.

Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland theorize that sleep apnea may be an unrecognized cause of osteoporosis because it seems to affect bone remodeling, a process necessary for bone health. During remodeling, mature bone is removed from the skeletonĀ and new bone tissue is rebuilt, even while we sleep.

With detailed review of researches the conclusion derived by the researchers that deals with bone metabolism and found important indications that sleep apnea interrupts the bone remodeling process.

“If sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea affect bone metabolism, they may have diagnostic and therapeutic implications for many patients, including those affected by sleep apnea in their early, bone modeling years,” said lead author Dr. Christine Swanson.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Comorbidities

COPDResults of epidemiological studies have shown that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is frequently associated with comorbidities, the most serious and prevalent being cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, and cachexia.

Mechanistically, environmental risk factors such as smoking, unhealthy diet, exacerbations, and physical inactivity or inherent factors such as genetic background and ageing contribute to this association.

No convincing evidence has been provided to suggest that treatment of COPD would reduce comorbidities, although some indirect indications are available. Clear evidence that treatment of comorbidities improves COPD is also lacking, although observational studies would suggest such an effect for statins, ? blockers, and angiotensin-converting enzyme blockers and receptor antagonists.

Large-scale prospective studies are needed. Reduction of common risk factors seems to be the most powerful approach to reduce comorbidities.

Whether reduction of so-called spill-over of local inflammation from the lungs or systemic inflammation with inhaled or systemic anti-inflammatory drugs, respectively, would also reduce COPD-related comorbidities is doubtful. [TheLancet.com]

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