Sleep apnoea linked with higher spine fracture risk among women


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Univadis Medical News
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Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) may negatively affect bone health. Results from a new study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research indicate that women with a history of OSA may face a higher risk of spine or vertebral fractures.

Using information from the Nurses’ Health Study, investigators examined data from 55,264 women without a prior history of bone fracture. OSA was self-reported in 1.3 per cent of participants in 2002 and increased to 3.3 per cent by 2012.

Women with a history of OSA had a two-fold higher risk of vertebral fracture relative to those without a history of OSA. The strongest association was for OSA associated with daytime sleepiness. No association was observed between OSA history and risk of hip fracture.

Lead author Tianyi Huang of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the US, said: “Our study provides important evidence at the population level that OSA may have an adverse impact on bone health that is particularly relevant to the development of vertebral fracture.”

However, he said, as self-reported clinical diagnoses of OSA and fracture were used, future studies could use more deeply characterised data to further understand the mechanisms linking OSA to bone health and fracture risk.