Obstructive Sleep Apnea Raises Risk of Osteoporosis

Kai-Jen Tien, MD Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Chi Mei Medical Center Assistant Professor, Center of General Education Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science Tainan, TaiwanMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kai-Jen Tien, MD
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism,
Department of Internal Medicine,  Chi Mei Medical Center
Assistant Professor, Center of General Education
Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science
Tainan, Taiwan

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer:  We conducted the first and largest population-based cohort study to evaluate the association of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and osteoporosis in a 6-year follow-up investigation of an Asian population. OSA is characterized by repetitive episodes of apnea/hypopnea and hypoxia in tissue, which might impact the bone metabolism. The results of the study showed that patients with obstructive sleep apnea had 2.74 times the risk of osteoporosis than patents without obstructive sleep apnea after adjustment for the patient`s characteristics and comorbidities. Across all age groups and sex groups, individuals with OSA had higher incidence rate of osteoporosis than individuals without obstructive sleep apnea. Subgroup analysis showed that older patients and female patients had a higher risk for osteoporosis than their younger and male counterparts.
MedicalResearch.com:  Were any of the findings unexpected?

Answer:  None of the findings were unexpected. Although most of those previous studies were of small sample size and cross-sectional designs with inconsistent results, they indicated that obstructive sleep apnea should have impact on bone metabolism. Our results further confirmed that OSA would deteriorate bone health.

MedicalResearch.com:  What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Answer:   As we know, the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea is increasing in the world and it raises the risk of many associated diseases,  especially cardiovascular diseases. We find that OSA also increases the risk for subsequent osteoporosis. Osteoporosis increases the risk of fracture, medical expenditure, mortality and reduces the quality of life. So we need to pay more attention to the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and osteoporosis and construct some strategies to prevent the disease in the future.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Answer:   In the present study, we could not evaluate the impact of the family history of osteoporosis, daily activity, eating habits, alcohol and tobacco use, that were known as risk factors for osteoporosis. The exact mechanism that link OSA and osteoporosis were also unknown. The future researches may need to cover these issues. In addition, studies are needed to clarify whether early treatment of the OSA could reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life.

Citation:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Risk of Osteoporosis: A Population-Based Cohort Study in Taiwan

Yu-Li Chen, Shih-Feng Weng, Yuan-Chi Shen, Chien-Wen Chou, Chwen-Yi Yang, Jhi-Joung Wang, and Kai-Jen Tien

JCEM DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jc.2014-1718

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