Who Suffers from Sleep Apnea?
It is estimated that there are anywhere from eighteen to twenty-five million sleep apnea sufferers, however a surprising less than a million of these individuals are aware of it.
This is a health concern that affects more men than women, and more middle aged to older men then younger men.
Sleep Apnea In Women
Women of menopausal age are more likely to develop it than are younger women and after going through menopause, the incidence of sleep apnea among women becomes approximately equal to that of men. However some studies suggest that sleep apnea is under diagnosed in females.
Research has shown that roughly between nine and twenty-four percent of males suffer from apnea or hypopnea and on average, four to fifteen percent of women. However be aware that sleep apnea has been found in people of all age groups, including children.
Sleep Apnea In Children
Sleep apnea is believed to affect anywhere from 1.6 to 3.4 percent of young children. It is hypothesized by experts that “sleep disorder breathing” can be found in eleven percent of children in the general population.
One particular study yielded the result that while the incidence of sleep apnea rises with age, the many health problems that accompany it tend to become less severe. For instance it was shown that those before the age of forty-five have more serious health consequences than those who are older.
Being overweight can pose a risk for developing sleep apnea especially for those who have an accumulation of fat in their abdominal areas. This is as true for adults as it is for children and teenagers. (Sleep Apnea in Overweight Children)
Sometimes even losing ten pounds or less can have a positive effect. It is important to point out that not everyone who experiences “sleep-disordered breathing” is overweight. This is particularly the case when it comes to women and children.
Studies have shown that those who live in rural areas tend to suffer more incidences of sleep apnea than those who live in urban areas. However those who live in cities tend to suffer from insomnia and disturbed sleep more often.
This is believed to be related to stress. Of all races in the United States those who are African American tend to have a higher likelihood of developing this sleep disorder as opposed to other ethnic groups.
There are a few physical characteristics that also seem to predispose an individual to be more likely to develop sleep apnea. For instance having a larger neck may play a role.
This may also partially explain why men are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea than women. The risk is greatest for men who have a neck circumference of seventeen inches or more and for women who have a neck measurement of sixteen inches or higher.
Other physical characteristics that play a role include having a narrow upper jaw; having an overbite; having a chin that recedes, having a long lower portion of your face; having a large thick tongue and having a long, stiff soft palate.