Sleepless Nights

By Health Day

A problem that keeps many Americans from sleeping well may be linked to deadly consequences.

More than 5 percent of Americans may have obstructive sleep apnea. This causes people to stop and start breathing Ð over and over during the night.

At night sometimes I wake up without air and sometimes my husband said I snore a lot.

Sleep apnea can trigger many health problems including severe drowsiness, high blood pressure and depression. And it could raise people's risk of dying of cancer, according to a new study to be published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Researchers followed more than 1,500 people for 22 years. Those with severe sleep-disordered breathing which includes apnea were nearly 5 times more likely to die of cancer, even after accounting for their weight.

However, the lead author points out that more research is needed to verify these findings.

People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea. Losing weight can help treat this problem, and your doctor may be able to recommend other strategies, too.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news that doctors are reading; health news that matters to you.

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