Snoring linked to worse cancer outcomes in new research

Findings were presented at the Annual Congress of the European Association of Urology in Munich.

There may be more worrying consequences to loud snoring than just keeping your family up all night. 

A link has been made between sleep apnoea – which is often indicated by loud snoring – and worse cancer outcomes in recent studies.

Sleep apneoa is a common disorder where an individual has more pauses in breathing patterns or has shallow breath while sleeping. 

The study, which was tested on mice, was presented at the Annual Congress of the European Association of Urology in Munich.

The connection is suggested to come down to Hypoxia, where a tissue or organ doesn’t get enough oxygen and can be a consequence of apnoea.

It has also been linked to increased risks of several conditions including high blood pressure and stroke. 

Lead researcher Dr Antoni Vilaseca from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona said: “Patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnoea usually suffer from intermittent hypoxia at night. This work shows that intermittent hypoxia has the potential to promote the formation of blood vessels within tumours, meaning that the tumours have access to more nutrients.”

He said that it was important to be cautious when applying these findings to humans as it was only an early animal study. However, the research shows a reasonable mechanism for why conditions which restrict oxygen flow to the tissue might progress cancer. 

Professor Arnulf Stenzl of Tübingen University and Chair of the EAU Congress Committee, said: “Although this is an experimental study, it is remarkable, because it demonstrates the influence of oxygen deficiency on the growth of renal cell carcinoma tissue, both primary tumour as well as metastases. 

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