Increased Risk of Osteoporosis in Sleep Apnea Patients

posted May 15, 2015, 2:40 PM by Admin SRSAN   [ updated May 22, 2015, 11:47 AM ]
The correlation between osteoporosis and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) was the focus of two recent papers published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism and Sleep Medicine. Both studies were based on large population cohorts from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Database. In the first study, patients with newly diagnosed OSA and followed over a period of 6 years were found to have a 2.74 times greater risk of developing osteoporosis than patients without OSA, after adjusting for confounding variables (age, gender, diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, obesity, stroke, hyperlipidemia, chronic kidney disease, gout, monthly income, and geographical location). Females and older patients had a greater risk of osteoporosis than males and younger populations. This highly statistically significant correlation is supported by the results of the second study, which found that the incidence rate of osteoporosis in sleep apnea patients was 9.97 vs 6.77 per 1000 person-years in patients without sleep-disordered breathing, with the greatest risk noted in females and those over 64 years of age. Because OSA is associated with metabolic, endocrine and cardiovascular disease mechanisms, Chen et al. hypothesized that the intermittent hypoxia characteristic of OSA pathophysiology is also responsible for disturbances in bone metabolism.


Chen, Yu-Li, et al. "Obstructive sleep apnea and risk of osteoporosis: a population-based cohort study in Taiwan." The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 99.7 (2014): 2441-2447.

Yen, Chia-Ming, et al. "Sleep disorders increase the risk of osteoporosis: a nationwide population-based cohort study." Sleep medicine 15.11 (2014): 1339-1344.