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Thursday, November 08, 2007

The side effect of being a baby boomer...

The youngest of 76 million boomers are now moving through their 40s.

Research shows that men especially over 40 are more likely to have sleep disorders than women.

About 37 percent of American adults ages 30-69 have at least mild OSA. In a sleep apnea cycle, breathing stops, blood oxygen levels drop, and the person wakes briefly gasping for breath. This continues hundreds of times throughout the night. Apnea is classified as a complete cessation of breathing. Each episode of sleep apnea lasts a minimum of 10 seconds

What causes this high prevalence of sleep disordered breathing in baby boomers? It’s not just because they are ‘boomers’; rather, it is due to the continued changes of growing older. Changes in airway anatomy occur with age. The soft palate gets longer, the pharyngeal fat pads increase in size, and the shape of bony structures around the pharyngeal airway change. All of these contribute to the increased prevalence of sleep apnea in baby boomers.

more... Dr Greenburg
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