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Correlation Found Between Spinal Cord Injuries and Sleep Apnea

Posted on April 5, 2014 by Core Products There have been 0 comments

CPAP Pillow for use with CPAPNew research suggests that if you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury, you may be at a much higher risk for sleep apnea.

In a recent study on sleep patterns published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, researchers found that over 75% of spinal cord injury survivors suffer from sleep apnea. The study’s participants all had chronic spinal cord injuries due to a cervical or thoracic injury. An even greater 92% of participants reported poor sleeping patterns.

Participants in the study who had sleep apnea suffered from either obstructive sleep apnea, in which the airway becomes blocked during sleep, or central sleep apnea, in which the brain doesn’t send the right signals to the muscles that regulate breathing.

While obstructive sleep apnea is common among the greater population, central sleep apnea is more complicated and requires specialized treatment.

“The majority of spinal cord injury survivors have symptomatic sleep-disordered breathing and poor sleep that may be missed if not carefully assessed,” said lead researcher Dr. Abdulghani Sankari.

This study confirms the need for spinal cord injury patients to be diligent in assessing their sleep health. With spinal cord injuries comes a greater risk of dangerous sleep disorders. If you have a spinal cord injury, don’t wait to talk to your doctor about your sleep patterns and how to test for sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.

Source: Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine press release (January 2014)

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