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Dementia higher for older women with sleep disorders


Sleep disordered breathing among older women, the kind that leads to deficient oxygenation of the blood or hypoxemia, raises the risk of dementia or cognitive impairment when they are compared to women who have regular sleep patterns. This is a little provocative when you consider most peri- to post-menopausal women have disrupted sleep.

“Sleep-disordered breathing, a disorder characterized by recurrent arousals from sleep and intermittent hypoxemia, is common among older adults and affects up to 60 percent of elderly populations. A number of adverse health outcomes including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes have been associated with sleep-disordered breathing,” according the report in JAMA.

The authors further added that “Given the high prevalence and significant morbidity associated with both sleep-disordered breathing and cognitive impairment in older populations, establishing whether a prospective association exists between sleep-disordered breathing and cognition is important.” And since there are effective treatments available today, let’s connect the dots and make things better.

Researchers looked at about 300 women with no signs of dementia at an average age of 82. They looked at the results of sleep studies measuring hypoxia, sleep fragmentation and sleep duration. In the end, 35% of the women met the definition of sleep-disordered. After a follow up four and a half years later, 20% developed mild cognitive impairment and 15% developed dementia. Almost 45% of those with prevalent sleep-disordered breathing developed dementia compared to 31% of those without the sleep disorder.

The report concluded, “Given the high prevalence of both sleep-disordered breathing and cognitive impairment among older adults, the possibility of an association between the two conditions, even a modest one, has the potential for a large public health impact. Furthermore, the finding that hypoxia and not sleep fragmentation or duration seems to be associated with risk of mild cognitive impairment or dementia provides clues to the mechanisms through which sleep-disordered breathing might promote cognitive impairment.”

Source: JAMA, MedicalNewsToday

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I had no idea that sleeping

I had no idea that sleeping disorders could cause dementia. If people bought the right mattress, would this help them have better chances of not getting this disease? I know I just bought a mattress from a mattress store Phoenix, and it helped me to sleep a lot better than before. I suffer from insomnia myself, so I am always looking for better ways to rest. Thanks for the great information.


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