Let’s face it. It has zero sex appeal to your mate and your kids get excited because they think you are secretly training to be a jet pilot. The abandonment rate is high, but the instructions to use are simple “put your mask on first before you can assist others.”
Of course, you would want to put on your air mask when there’s a drop in cabin air pressure during your flight. The last thing you would want to lose is your ability to breathe normally. The same with women who are serious about their sleep apnea. They want to stay alive and be there for families wear it to bed every night.
Prior to a recent research study of 1,100 women in Spain, most sleep apnea research reflected the conditions of the majority of male participants. This study is unique in looking specifically at the consequences of obstructive sleep apnea in women.
The women in the 9 year monitoring study were
- in the age range of their 50s to 60s
- mostly overweight or obese
- living with pre-existing conditions of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes
- for the most part without prior history of heart attacks or strokes (20% were heart attack and stroke victims)
- tested and determine to have either mild, severe or non-sleep apnea
All women with severe sleep apnea were given a CPAP breathing machine, as well as those with mild sleep apnea who report daytime sleepiness.
A CPAP is an air pressure mechanism is similar to the drop down mask in airliners. In this case, it’s designed to keep the air passage way open during sleep. During sleep testing, the number of times breathing is interrupted either stopping or slowing down is critical for determining the oxygen level in the blood and oxygen level getting to the brain. A range to 10-29 interruptions is mild to moderate but 30 or more interruptions are considered severe.
For the women with severe sleep apnea the value of CPAP is clear.
- Those not using CPAP or using it less than 4 hours per night were over 3 times more likely to die of heart related conditions.
- Those using the CPAP for at least 4 hours a night had no increase and had the same risk of heart related deaths as women without sleep apnea.
Researchers using what is known from animal studies believe that the body’s fight or fligt response is activated by severe sleep apnea and resulting in heart attack and stroke events. It appears heart related risk factors of low levels of blood oxygen cause pressure built up, increase blood clotting, incrase sleep arousals and gasping for air . These can be reduced, if women are willing to use a CPAP device 4 hours or more during the night.
So buckle up ladies and don your masks. Tell your kids you’re living out your secret desire to a jet pilot and tell your mates you love them enough to be there for them in the morning.
Watch Rosie O’Donnell share her own story.
Source: Treating Women’s Sleep Apnea May Lower Heart Death Risk Study: Machine That Keeps Airways Open Is Linked to a Lower Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke Death by Brenda Goodman, MA http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-apnea/news/20120116/treating_sleep_apnea-women-may-lower-risk-heart-related-death?page=3
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