It is well established that sleep apnea, a common disorder which causes repeated, brief interruptions in breathing during sleep, is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Now there is good evidence that people with sleep apnea are also more likely to be diagnosed with osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a progressive condition that thins and weakens the bones resulting in a higher chance of falls and fractures.
The research team compared medical records of over 1,300 people who were diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) to nearly 21,000 individuals who did not have the sleep problem. Over a six year follow-up period, the data shows that the participants with sleep apnea were 2.7 times more likely to be diagnosed with osteoporosis. Moreover, retirees and females were at higher risk than their young adult and male counterparts.
Source: Chen Y, Weng S, Shen Y et al. Obstructive sleep apnea and risk of osteoporosis: a population-based cohort study in Taiwan. Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2014; 99 (7): 2441-2447.