SNORING could mean you’re more likely to be diagnosed with cancer, experts have revealed.
New findings suggest the annoying trait could be linked to the disease – in women.
Women suffering sleep apnoea, and who had severely lowered blood oxygen levels at night, were at greater risk of cancer than those who didn’t suffer the sleep disorder, scientists in Greece discovered.
But, the same trend was not seen in men, they noted.
Dr Athanasia Pataka, said: “Recent studies have shown that low blood oxygen levels during the night and disrupted sleep, which are both common in obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), may play an important role in the biology of different types of cancers.
“But this area of research is very new, and the effects of gender on the link between OSA and cancer have not been studied in detail before.”
Dr Pataka’s team at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, looked at more than 19,000 people – recording their age, BMI, smoking status and booze consumption – all of which can increase the risk of cancer.
They then recorded how often each volunteer experienced partial or complete closure of their airways, per hour of sleep, and how many times their blood oxygen levels dropped below 90 per cent.
Cancer was morecommon in women with OSA than blokes with the same condition, even when all the other factors were taken into account.
The findings, published in the European Respiratory Journal, showed 388 people were diagnosed with a serious cancer – 160 women and 228 men.
The most common cancer in women was breast, while prostate cancer was most likely in men.
“This link was especially strong in the women that we analysed, and less so in the men,” Dr Pataka said.
“It suggests that severe OSA could be an indicator for cancer in women, though more research is needed to confirm these findings.”
The researchers didn’t specifically look at the causes of different cancers.
Dr Pakata added: “Cancer may differ between men and women because of factors such as how hormones affect tumour growth, how the different types of cancer that were more prevalent in men and women are affected by low blood oxygen levels, or how gender specific exposure to cigarette smoking may play a role.
This study adds to the growing evidence on the possible link between the effects of OSA such as low blood oxygen levels and the risk of developing cancer
Professor Anita Simonds, Royal Brompton And Harefield NHS Foundation Trust
“The classic symptoms of OSA such as sleepiness, snoring and stopping breathing during the night time are reporter more frequently in men, but other lesser known symptoms like fatigue, insomnia, depression and morning headaches are more common in women.