Asthma Bad For a Good Night's Sleep

Asthmatics may be at higher risks of sleep apnea

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) Breathing easier is important to making it through the day and to a good night’s rest. Periodically and involuntarily not breathing during sleep is unfortunately common among people with asthma.

A new, preliminary study has concluded that asthma may be associated with development of sleep apnea, a disorder that causes its sufferers to stop breathing, off and on, throughout sleep.

These researchers concluded that the overall odds of asthmatics developing sleep apnea were higher than those without asthma.

"Talk to your doctor if you regularly have trouble sleeping."

Mihaela Teodorescu, MD, a University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health pulmonologist, was lead author of this preliminary study.

Its participants totaled 773 people. Of that group, 201 had asthma, with 140 of them diagnosed with the respiratory disorder when they were children. The remainder were diagnosed when they were adults, researchers wrote.

For eight years, study participants underwent sleep tests in the university’s sleep laboratory and other medical assessments every four years. They also completed questionnaires about their medical histories, according to the study.

Researchers concluded that, regardless of when they were diagnosed with asthma, the overall odds of those asthmatics developing sleep apnea were 1.7 times higher than that of people without asthma.

The odds that those who were diagnosed with asthma as children would develop sleep apnea were more than twice that of non-asthmatics. For people diagnosed with asthma as children, their odds for developing sleep apnea were almost 1.5 times greater than that of people who did not have asthma.

Also, for every five years that a person had asthma, the odds of developing sleep apnea rose 10 percent, researchers concluded.

Their preliminary research is being presented at the American Thoracic Society conference, which runs through Wednesday in Philadelphia. It has neither been peer-reviewed nor slated for publication in any medical journal.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 15, 2013
Last Updated:
September 13, 2013