Now let’s look at the statistics by gender
There is increasing recognition that sleep-disordered breathing is a major public health burden for both genders and that sleep apnea gender differences should be recognized and treated.
Sleep Apnea in Men
Men are at risk for Sleep Disordered Breathing because of the location of fat when weight is gained as they age. It deposits around the neck and abdomen, weighing down the airway and lungs. 28% of men over age 65 have sleep apnea (national sleep foundation) and men with severe OSA are 3x more likely to have a stroke than men without OSA.
Sleep Apnea in Women
Women are at risk especially after age 50 and as they enter menopause. 10% of post-menopausal women have sleep apnea because estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that seem to protect women from sleep-disordered breathing, cease to be produced as they age. 24% of women over the age of 65 have sleep apnea (national sleep foundation). And women are twice as likely as men to have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep (national sleep foundation). Women who do not sleep during the period of 2 am-4 am, when the melatonin levels are at their highest, have a 14% increase in breast cancer risk for each night they are awake at that time. (Davis et al., 2001.)
Sleep Apnea in Children
Children 1-4 % of children suffer from Sleep Breathing Disorders and 3-12% of children are habitual snorers (American Academy of Pediatrics). Growth retardation occurs in 7% of infants born to mothers who snored while pregnant (Franklin et al., 2000). Children with Sleep Breathing Disorders require 226% more healthcare than children without Sleep Breathing Disorders (Reuveni et al., 2002). IQ score, attention span and memory skills in children with Sleep Breathing Disorders are lower compared to children without Sleep Breathing Disorders. (Kennedy et al., 2004).
This is an interesting study about sleep apnea gender differences. In all of the statistics about OSA are amazing, but what is really shocking is that 75% of severe sleep-disordered breathing cases remain undiagnosed (reference: Young et al. Sleep 2008). This means millions of people are putting their health and lives at risk every time they go to sleep and this is why you really need to get yourself tested.
Read this article if you want to learn about different types of sleep apnea
Browse our Sleep Apnea Blog to learn more about Sleep Apnea.
Educate yourself about sleep apnea and then educate the world to help save lives!