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Researchers have found a reliable link between sleep disorders and cancer. Snoring and sleep apnea are found to deprive the body of much-needed oxygen for long periods of time, and this is enough to cause the growth of cancerous cells within the body. The risk of cancer can be nearly five times higher for snorers than for those who don’t snore.
Researchers analyze data for cancer rates within 1,500 people, with the study being done over a 22-year period. Those with moderate Sleeping Disorder Breathing (SDB) had a modest rise in cancer rates. But those with sleep apnea were far worse off, since the apnea causes the collapse of airways during the breathing cycle, with the sleeper unable to breathe.
Sleep apnea is also associated with other problems, such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. Researchers controlled for these other factors in order to isolate SDB as the cause for the spike in cancer rates.
Dr Javier Nieto, the lead researcher, said this: “The consistency of the evidence from the animal experiments and this new epidemiologic evidence in humans is highly compelling.”