Obstructive Sleep Apnea Tied to Worse Bone Health

Findings strongest for development of vertebral fracture


WEDNESDAY, Sept. 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- History of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is independently associated with a higher risk for confirmed vertebral fracture, according to a study published online Sept. 9 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Tianyi Huang, Sc.D., from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the relation between OSA and risk for incident vertebral fracture and hip fracture among 55,264 women participating in the Nurses' Health Study.

The researchers found that 1.3 percent of women self-reported physician-diagnosed OSA in 2002, which increased to 3.3 percent by 2012. There were 461 incident vertebral fracture cases and 921 incident hip fracture cases documented between 2002 and 2014. Compared with women with no OSA history, the adjusted hazard ratio for confirmed vertebral fracture among women with a history of OSA was 2.00 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.29 to 3.12). The association was even more pronounced among women who had OSA with daytime sleepiness (hazard ratio, 2.86; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.31 to 6.21). There was no association seen between OSA history and self-reported hip fracture risk (hazard ratio, 0.83; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.49 to 1.43).

"Further research is warranted in understanding OSA as a risk factor for fracture that may differ by fracture site and the role that OSA and intermittent hypoxia may play in bone metabolism and health," the authors write.

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Physician’s Briefing Staff

Physician’s Briefing Staff

Published on September 16, 2020

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