Sleep Apnea: Hidden Dangers for Women

From the Show: Staying Well
Summary: An estimated 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, although 80 percent go undiagnosed. Women, particularly, face special concerns.
Air Date: 11/4/13
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Paul M. Macey, PhD
Paul MaceyPaul Macey is an Assistant Professor in Residence at the UCLA School of Nursing. He completed his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, where he studied breathing and temperature in infants.

His postdoctoral training was at UCLA in the Department of Neurobiology, where, using neuro-imaging, he investigated brain function and structure in children and adults with sleep-disordered breathing.

He is known for his work demonstrating brain changes in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and linking these changes to physical and psychological symptoms in the sleep disorder.

Dr. Macey is currently investigating sex variations in OSA-related brain injury, including effects on physical and mental well-bring.

The aim is to understand both the causes and consequences of brain changes in OSA, and how best to treat patients with the sleep condition.
Sleep Apnea: Hidden Dangers for Women
Sleep apnea is a serious and dangerous condition that affects an estimated 22 million Americans. Unfortunately, 80 percent of the cases of moderate and severe obstruction sleep apnea go undiagnosed.

Sleep apnea occurs when your breathing repeatedly stops and starts, causing you to snore loudly. Sufferers typically feel exhausted even after a full night's sleep. Most sleep apnea is found in men over the age of 40, but new research has shown the potential hidden dangers women face in diagnosing sleep apnea.

New research conducted by the University of California Los Angeles School of Nursing shows that your body's autonomic response, blood pressure, heart rate, sweating and other basic functions are not as strong in people with sleep apnea, especially in women.

Since women with sleep apnea appear to be generally healthy, the many women who go undiagnosed could develop heart disease and poor adaptation to daily physical tasks.

Assistant Professor in Residence, Chief Innovation Officer UCLA School of Nursing and Brain Research Institute. Dr. Paul M. Macey, PhD, explains the research, the risks women face and treatments available for sleep apnea.


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