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Younger men face greater risk of death if they have sleep apnea. The study assessed the survival rates of 14,000 men between 20 and 93 years old over a 10-year period for possible sleep apnea. The researchers at Technion- Israel Institut of Technology saw 372 deaths during a follow-up of 4.6 years.
The researchers found that among participants with a respiratory disturbance index (RDI) score >30, only men between 20 and 29 years old had a much higher mortality, compared with their counterparts in the general population. The investigators also conducted an additional test on 1909 patients with severe sleep apnea. This group had RDI scores >50 and an average of 73 respiratory events per hour of sleep. Of this group, 95 died during follow-up.
Reporting in the European Respiratory Journal (March 2005), the researchers learned that the mortality rate for men in their 20s was 10 times greater in the severe sleep apnea group, compared with the general population. Men 30 to 39 years old and 40 to 49 years old had mortality rates >3 times and nearly 2 times higher, respectively. For men 50 years of age and older, the condition did not have a higher mortality risk.