Cancer and OSA – an unlikely link?

Cancer and OSA – an unlikely link?

By In diagnosis, sleep On February 10, 2017


Does having Severe OSA increase your risk of Cancer? Looking back on the years of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) research, we’ve been eagerly watching this unexpected link.

This association has not been studied widely. We’ve known for a long time that repeated intermittent hypoxaemia (low blood oxygen levels) can result in demonstrable problems to the human body – increasing your heart attack risk, stroke risk, Atrial Fibrillation risk, and even cognitive decline.

Martinez-Garcia et al has published both in the Am J Respir Crit Care Med (2013) and Sleep med (2014) with data suggesting those with OSA have an unusually high link to Cancer.

They found that Severe OSA measured by a drop in Oxygen Saturations below 90% (TSat90) and now the Apnoea Hypopnoea Index (AHI) is independently associated with increased cancer mortality. This was even after correcting for confounding variables, particularly true in those below the age of 65, and men.

This is however not a firm causal-link… but not beyond the realm of possibility. More research needs to be done in this field, and we’ll be watching that space closely. Drop us a line and we’ll be able to discuss your sleep in more detail.

Campos-Rodriguez, Martinez-Garcia et al. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2013.
Martinez-Garcia et al. Sleep Med. 2014.

© APSS 2016