US Pharm. 2014;39(3):49-50.
People with sleep apnea appear to be at a greater risk of contracting pneumonia, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
To determine whether sleep apnea is linked to the development of
pneumonia, Taiwanese researchers followed 34,100 patients (6,816 who
had sleep apnea and 27,284 controls) for 11 years. They found that
pneumonia was more likely to develop in the people with sleep apnea
than in the control group (638 [9.36%] vs. 2119 [7.77%]). The people
with pneumonia were older and had more comorbidities such as heart
disease, diabetes, dementia, and other diseases.
“This study showed that sleep apnea is
an independent risk factor for incident pneumonia,” write Dr. Vincent
Yi-Fong Su and Dr. Kun-Ta Chou, Department of Chest Medicine, Taipei
Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, with coauthors. “Our results
also demonstrated an exposure-response relation in that patients with
more severe sleep apnea may have a higher risk of pneumonia than
patients with sleep apnea of milder severity.”