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Obesity, Sleep Apnea, and Dementia Prevention: What Mississippi Needs to Know

The Link Between Sleep Apnea, Dementia, and Brain Health in General


Sleep apnea May Increase the Risk of Dementia
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

In several studies, it has been shown that sleep apnea can negatively impact brain health. During a survey in July 2018, changes in the brains of middle-aged and older adults were connected to severe sleep apnea. In May 2023, another study uncovered a possible link between sleep apnea and decreased time spent in deep sleep. In addition, the presence of brain biomarkers typically associated with higher rates of cognitive decline was found. These results imply that sleep apnea can significantly affect cognitive function and brain volume.

Connecting sleep apnea to an increased risk of dementia is not the only detriment to brain health that it poses.

Cognitive decline has been linked to sleep apnea through various studies. Despite this, the good news is that the treatment of sleep apnea is being shown to have the potential even to prevent dementia. Acting quickly to recognize and treat sleep apnea is critical to avoiding severe cognitive consequences.

Obesity is a primary concern for individuals with higher chances of developing sleep apnea.

Certain regions in the United States have a significantly higher rate of sleep apnea among obese people, such as Mississippi and New Orleans. These areas are well-known for their high levels of sleep apnea sufferers. In light of this, the importance of improving healthy sleep habits in these regions cannot be stressed enough, as sleep apnea negatively impacts cognitive function and brain health.

Sleep Apnea and Rising Dementia Rate in The United States have people Intrigued About Its Occurrence and Patterns.

The intermittent cessation and resumption of an individual's breathing during sleep, known as sleep apnea, is frequently associated with obesity.

Across a four-year study of overweight and obese adults in America, researchers established a clear correlation between weight gain and the onset of sleep apnea. Overweight or obese individuals are also more commonly diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. With rising rates of obesity throughout the United States, the occurrence of sleep apnea will likely climb as well, underscoring the importance of weight management and other interventions.

Sleep apnea is prevalent in several states in America, with Mississippi and New Orleans standing out in particular. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that Mississippi has the highest incidence of sleep apnea, with over 14% of its adult residents being impacted. Meanwhile, research has highlighted that almost a third of individuals living in New Orleans also suffer from the condition. Environmental, demographic, and obesity-related issues may contribute to the high prevalence of sleep apnea in these states.

Dementia and Other Adverse Health Effects Have Been Linked to Sleep Apnea.

The National Institutes of Health found that adult patients with sleep apnea were more likely to develop long COVID. A 2018 study discovered that severe cases of sleep apnea resulted in worrisome alterations to elderly and middle-aged adults' brain structures. A more recent exploration found a potential relationship between sleep apnea, shortened deep sleep periods, and biomarkers in the brain indicating a heightened risk of dementia. Therefore, addressing sleep apnea early on is essential to avoid harmful outcomes.


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