The Link Between Abdominal Fat and Sleep Spnea

fatMany people have sleep disorders and the majority don't know that they have one. Sleep problems can lead to insomnia or narcolepsy. However, the most dangerous of all sleep disorders is sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea is a condition wherein there is excessive daytime sleepiness with at least five obstructed breathing events (apnoea or hypopnea) per hour of sleep. Apnoea occurs when breathing pauses last for 10 seconds or more. Hypopneas occur when there is continued breathing but ventilation is reduced by at least 50% from the previous baseline during sleep. Sleep apnoea is that it is a major cause of morbidity, a significant cause of mortality throughout the world, and the most common medical cause of daytime sleepiness. Sleep apnoea, when untreated, can lead to heart problems, lung problems, hypertension, diabetes and stroke.

Recently there have also been studies linking sleep apnoea to obesity. In fact, obesity has been long considered an important risk factor for sleep apnoea in adults. People with too much visceral fat—a type of fat that collects in the abdomen are at high risk for acquiring this sleep disorder. Visceral fat in the abdomen is located within the abdominal cavity, around the body’s organs. Visceral fat itself is considered an important risk factor for a number of serious medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Although both men and women are at risk for obstructive sleep apnoea, men are diagnosed with the disorder in greater numbers, and some studies have indicated that men with OSA are at greater risk of mortality than women.

So what is the link between sleep apnoea and abdominal fat? A new study has found evidence that there is indeed a link between visceral fat and obstructive sleep apnoea. This study, which was done in Japan, examined the relationship between visceral fat and obstructive sleep apnoea in both men and women. They discovered a strong association between sleep apnoea and visceral fat accumulation among men, but not among women. According to this study, men had greater accumulations of visceral fat than women. Men also had more severe OSA than women, and also had more severe dyslipidemia—abnormal levels of lipids in the blood. High cholesterol and high triglycerides are the most common types of dyslipidemia. In men, visceral fat accumulation was associated with two indicators of low blood oxygen, which are themselves considered indicators of sleep apnoea. In men, visceral fat also was associated with age and with body-mass index (BMI).

This findings show that sleep apnoea is related to visceral fat. This may be the reason why men who have sleep apnoea have elevated risks for cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular screening and monitoring should therefore be undertaken in men with sleep apnoea.

You can read more about these findings in this article:

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Somnowell Inventor - Visiting Professor Simon Ash FDS MSc MOrth BDS

Prof. Ash is the inventor of the highly successful SOMNOWELL Chrome device for snoring and sleep apnoea.

The Somnowell Chrome is made to exacting standards in the Somnowell laboratory under the supervision of Visiting Professor Simon Ash. Prof. Ash and his master technicians create each Somnowell Chrome device using their wealth of experience and expertise.

Prof. Ash works at the forefront of his profession. He is a Consultant and Specialist Orthodontist with over 30 years clinical experience, with a special interest in sleep related breathing disorders, TMJD, and bruxism. He currently works in Harley Street London and two private hospitals in London as part of a multi-disciplinary team managing snoring and sleep apnoea, and is Visiting Professor of Orthodontics at the BPP University.