Sleeping disorders rising in line with obesity epidemic
Sleeping disorders such as sleep apnoea and snoring are rising dramatically in line with an obesity epidemic globally, according to a world-leading sleep expert, Prof Peter Cistulli.
Meanwhile, nearly a fifth of couples worldwide are forced to sleep apart because one partner snores, or gets interrupted sleep, he told The Irish Times in Dublin.
Sleep apnoea and snoring were once thought to be “disorders of middle-aged men”, but the latest research suggests that snoring affects half of adult men, while sleep apnoea affects a quarter.
Increasingly, both are being linked to chronic diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia and possibly even cancer, noted Prof Cistulli, a Sydney-based respiratory medicine consultant.
“In some ways, sleep apnoea could be a missing link in our understanding of lots of chronic diseases that was previously unrecognised, or under-recognised – that is feeding into the development of these diseases.”
Speaking before a major medical and dental conference on new treatments for sleep disorders, Prof Cistulli warned that Ireland is now leading the European obesity league.