Sleep Apnea Causes More Damage in Women

A new scientific study indicates that obstructive sleep apnea causes more damage to brain cells in women than in men.

The study, conducted at the University of California in Los Angeles, was published in the journal SLEEP.  Researchers looked at the brains of 80 women diagnosed with sleep apnea, comparing their findings with previous studies done on men.  They found that women experience more damage than men to cells in the cingulum bundle and the anterior cingulate cortex brain regions, which are involved in the regulation of moods and decision-making.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where a person stops breathing during sleep.  The most common symptom of individuals with sleep apnea is snoring.

Anywhere from 4 to 9-percent of middle aged men experience obstructive sleep apnea, and 2 to 4 percent of middle aged women experience the condition. However, as many as 90 percent of people with obstructive sleep apnea have not been diagnosed.