Sleep Apnea Accelerates Aging – But Using This Breathing Therapy Method Can Mitigate the Problem

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which results in interrupted respiratory throughout sleep, can speed up the pure shortening of telomeres, contributing to untimely mobile growing old. Now, a latest research means that steady constructive airway pressure (CPAP) can mitigate this acceleration. The analysis divided contributors into two teams: these handled with CPAP and people given a placebo. Results confirmed that CPAP remedy slowed telomere shortening, suggesting its effectiveness not simply in managing sleep but additionally in countering the mobile growing old results of OSA.

In a research involving 46 contributors, it was found that people with untreated obstructive sleep apnea skilled quicker telomere shortening, an indicator of cell growing old. However, the use of steady constructive airway pressure decreased this harm.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterised by repeated episodes of the higher airway partially or totally closing throughout sleep. This results in pauses in respiratory that may final from a couple of seconds to a number of minutes, usually adopted by sudden waking and deep breaths. Common signs akin to problem concentrating, tiredness, and extreme drowsiness throughout the day can considerably diminish one’s high quality of life and might be debilitating.

If not addressed, people with OSA could face elevated dangers of hypertension, heart problems, coronary heart failure, and diabetes, amongst different health issues, in addition to poor reminiscence and focus.

The Role of CPAP in Telomere Maintenance

A research carried out at the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) in Brazil exhibits that the telomere shortening that naturally happens with growing old and is accelerated by OSA might be mitigated by the use of steady constructive airway pressure (CPAP), a way of respiratory remedy by which air is pumped into the lungs by means of the nostril and mouth throughout spontaneous respiratory.

Telomeres are constructions constructed from DNA sequences and proteins discovered at the ends of chromosomes. They play a central function in sustaining the integrity of the genetic materials in cell nuclei. They naturally shorten as cells divide to regenerate tissue and organs, and growing old cells cease dividing when telomeres develop into too brief. Accelerated telomere shortening attributable to OSA can due to this fact result in untimely cell growing old. 

The research was supported by FAPESP and reported in an article printed in the journal Sleep.

Research Methodology

The researchers assessed 46 male sufferers aged 50-60 and identified with reasonable or extreme OSA for six months. They divided these volunteers into two teams, treating one with CPAP and the different with a placebo (a CPAP machine with a hidden leak in the exhaust port of the masks to disperse the therapeutic pressure).

In month-to-month visits, they checked adherence to CPAP, thought-about advanced and onerous to get used to. They took blood samples to measure telomere size at the start of the trial, three months later, and at the finish of the intervention. They additionally analyzed inflammatory and oxidative stress markers.

“Telomere shortening is inevitable because it’s associated with aging, inflammation, and oxidative stress, but OSA accelerates it and we found that CPAP attenuated this acceleration after three and six months,” mentioned Priscila Farias Tempaku, first writer of the article and a researcher in sleep biology at UNIFESP’s Department of Psychobiology.

The Link Between OSA, Inflammation, and Telomere Shortening

In their investigation of the molecular mechanisms related to OSA and telomere shortening, the researchers noticed that irritation might be the fundamental pathway by way of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), a cytokine recognized to be concerned in the pathogenesis of some inflammatory and autoimmune ailments.

“In the placebo group, TNF-α influenced telomere length, whereas the association wasn’t observed in the CPAP group. This shows that in addition to its already recognized importance in mitigating cardiovascular and metabolic risk, CPAP also reduces inflammation and therefore attenuates telomere shortening,” Tempaku defined.

“The results underscore the criticality of sleep as a protective factor in aging and a risk factor in patients with alterations. This is an excellent incentive since most people are reluctant to use CPAP,” mentioned Sergio Tufik, final writer of the article and head of UNIFESP’s Sleep Institute. 

Sleep epidemiology

A pioneer of sleep analysis in Brazil and worldwide, Professor Tufik created the Episono (“Episleep”) undertaking to analyze sleep epidemiology. He and his staff have carried out surveys of the inhabitants of São Paulo metropolis each decade since 1986 to search out out about their sleep-related health issues, together with insomnia, loud night breathing, and sleepwalking, and have printed greater than 70 articles on the topic in scientific journals. 

The 2015 spherical of the survey targeted on the results of telomere shortening over a interval of ten years, displaying that having extreme OSA was equal to growing old ten years. This discovering, alongside these of the newest research, led the researchers to conclude that they need to examine the hyperlinks between sleep and growing old in additional depth.

The Wider Context: Sleep Disorders and the Public

“People age faster when they sleep badly. Poor quality sleep is associated with mortality as much as other diseases. Around 30% of the population have OSA, but there’s no care for the disorder. CPAP isn’t provided by public or private health services, and this has to change,” Tufik mentioned. 

The prevalence of OSA is rising in parallel with the advance of weight problems, as the two problems are frequently related. According to the Brazilian Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Society (SBCBM), 70% of overweight individuals undergo from sleep problems. The proportion is 80% in the case of morbid weight problems.

Diagnosis of OSA requires a polysomnography take a look at, also called a sleep research. Treatment entails CPAP and life-style adjustments akin to weight loss, and avoidance of sleep medicine in addition to alcoholic drinks at night time.

Reference: “0466 Effect of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and CPAP on Telomere Length and its Associated Mechanisms” by Priscila Tempaku, Vânia D’Almeida, Sylvia Silva, Lia Bittencourt and Sergio Tufik, 29 May 2023, Sleep.
DOI: 10.1093/sleep/zsad077.0466

The research was funded by the São Paulo Research Foundation. 

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