More Black Men Die From Sleep Apnea Than White People Of Both Genders, Study Says

The startling results are based on 20 years of data.

A study conducted by the University of Buffalo has found that over the last two decades, more Black men have been dying from obstructive sleep apnea than white people or Black women. Their death from sleep apnea has continued to rise, in contrast to rates that have flattened for white people and Black women.

For the first time, the study, which was published online in February in Sleep Medicine, identifies the significant racial health disparity in mortality resulting from sleep apnea.

“Despite several epidemiologic studies focusing on the prevalence, risk factors and clinical presentations of sleep apnea, no study, to our knowledge, has evaluated the disparity of sleep apnea-related mortality among different racial groups,” said Yu-Che Lee, MD, first author and a medical resident in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB, who sees patients through the Catholic Health System. “We therefore brought up an idea to do the research discussing the difference of sleep apnea-related mortality and mortality trends from 1999 to 2019 between Black and white Americans.”

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Statistics used for the study were collected from the National Center for Health Statistics, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sleep apnea is the most common sleep-related breathing disorder and has been associated with systemic hypertension, abnormalities in glucose metabolism, and cardiovascular and morbidity and mortality.

To read the full study, click here.


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