Health Day - ONLINE EDITION

Sleep Apnea Treatment Helps Seniors, Study Finds

British researchers report it improved slumber, lowered daytime sleepiness

  • Print

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new study finds that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is an effective treatment for seniors with sleep apnea.

CPAP is widely used to treat moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which the airway relaxes and narrows during sleep, causing breathing problems and interrupted sleep that leads to daytime drowsiness.

CPAP keeps the airway open by pushing a stream of air through a patient's nose via a mask that is worn during sleep. Previous research has shown that CPAP benefits middle-aged adults with sleep apnea, but there had been no studies on whether it was useful and cost-effective in seniors.

This new study of 278 sleep apnea patients aged 65 and older in the United Kingdom found that CPAP reduced their levels of daytime sleepiness and their health care costs.

"Sleep apnea can be hugely damaging to patients' quality of life and increase their risk of road accidents, heart disease and other conditions. Lots of older people might benefit from this treatment," study co-lead author Mary Morrell, a professor at the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, said in a college news release.

"Many patients feel rejuvenated after using CPAP because they're able to sleep much better, and it may even improve their brain function," Morrell added.

"We think low oxygen levels at night [because of interrupted breathing] might accelerate cognitive [mental] decline in old people, and studies have found that sleep apnea causes changes in the gray matter in the brain. We're currently researching whether treatment can prevent or reverse those changes," she noted.

CPAP should be offered to seniors with sleep apnea, and more needs to be done to raise awareness of the condition, the study authors said. The study is published in the Aug. 27 online edition of The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about CPAP.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Doug Speirs trains for role in Nutcracker

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.
  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(Standup photo)- Humming Around- A female ruby -throated hummingbird fly's through the bee bomb  flowers Friday at the Assiniboine Park English Garden- Nectar from flowers are their main source of food. Hummingbirds wings can beat as fast as 75x times second. Better get a glimpse of them soon the birds fly far south for the winter - from Mexico to South America- JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Sept 10, 2009

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on the Jets so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google