Sleep Apnea and Cancer


Story Updated: Aug 7, 2014

Obstructive sleep apnea does not increase a person's risk for developing cancer. That's the conclusion of new research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Several previous studies indicated a possible association caused by low levels of oxygen in the blood, but the studies were small and the evidence was limited. This new work included more than 10,000 patients with the condition.

At the start of the study, 520 of them had cancer. In the follow-up period, 627 new cases were diagnosed, most commonly prostate, breast, colorectal and lung cancer.

After controlling for cancer risk factors, the researchers found no causal link between obstructive sleep apnea and overall development of cancer.

They say additional studies are needed to see whether there may be an independent association with specific types of cancer.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with news you can use for healthier living.

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