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Snoring May Be Ruining Your Sex Life

Study: sleep apnea may cause decreased libido in men

FRIDAY, Aug. 2, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Not only does sleep apnea ruin the quality of your sleep and your ability to function during the day, it may also wreck your sex life.

Men who suffer from sleep apnea produce lower levels of testosterone, leading to less libido and sexual activity, says a study in the July issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology.

Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa found that nearly half the men in their study who suffered severe sleep apnea also secreted abnormally low levels of testosterone through the night.

"For years, we have seen sleep-disorder patients complain of decreased libido, but we had no explanation for this phenomenon until now," says study leader Peretz Lavie, head of the Technion sleep laboratory.

Previous studies reported that the testosterone levels of men with severe sleep apnea were low, but within the normal range.

The earlier studies measured the men's testosterone levels only once, after they woke up in the morning. In Lavie's study, the men stayed the entire night and were fitted with electrodes and catheters. They were monitored between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. and blood samples were taken from them every 20 minutes.

Sleep apnea refers to the inability of a person to breathe properly while he sleep. It affects 4 percent to 9 percent of adult males and millions of other Americans, including children. It can cause memory loss, fatigue, weight gain, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.

More information

The American Sleep Apnea Association has additional insight into this disorder.

SOURCE: American Society for Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, news release, July 30, 2002
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