Hypoxia During Obstructive Sleep Apnea May Benefit Bone Health in Menopausal Women

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Obstructive sleep apnea intermittently reduces oxygen intake.
Obstructive sleep apnea intermittently reduces oxygen intake.

Intermittent hypoxia in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) decreases the risk of bone health decline in menopausal women, according to findings presented at the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) 2017 Annual Meeting, held September 8-11 in Denver, Colorado.1

Researchers from the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the National University of Singapore gathered data on 1201 women age 45 to 69. They assessed breathing discomfort, trouble staying awake, and snoring based on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), partner-reported apnea, and hip bone mineral density (BMD) via dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. BMD measures were used to categorize participants into tertiles based on T-scores.

Of the participants, 68.5% had partner-reported apnea and 32.4% had self-reported OSA. Higher tertiles were linked to partner-reported apnea, snoring (P <.01for both), and self-reported breathing discomfort (P <.05). Additional factors associated with higher tertiles were Indian ethnicity, handgrip strength, and partner-reported apnea.

“Intermittent hypoxia in OSA may confer a protective role in bone health in midlife women,” the researchers concluded. “Future research should explore the use of hypoxia-mimicking agents to improve bone health.”

Reference

Thu WPP, Tng HY, Logan S, Aris IM, Cauley A, Yong EL. Sleep apnea and bone health in mid-life women. Presented at: American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 2017 Annual Meeting; September 8-11, 2017; Denver, CO. Abstract LB-SA0366.

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