The reality show 'Deadliest Catch', a Discovery show about Alaskan crab fishing, has been plagued by tragedy since its beginning. Viewers have seen cap-sized ships, lost crews, and the death of the gruff, but lovable, Phil Harris from the Cornelia Marie. The fishermen are facing another tragedy as the death of another of their compatriots has been revealed. Justin Tennison, a 33 year old fisherman on the Time Bandit, died in February of this year. Autopsy reports revealed that his death was due to complications related to sleep apnea.
Untreated sleep apnea can cause elargement of the heart, high cholesterol, and hardening of the arteries (and many other conditions). Many individuals with heart disease may have untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Stories like the tragedy of Justin Tennison remind CPAP users to stick with treatment, and hopefully will also bring awareness to those currently undiagnosed.
To read more about the new season of 'Deadliest Catch', visit ABC News for the f... [More]
As sleep apnea—and other forms of sleep-disordered breathing—gain recognition and awareness in mainstream culture, many people assume that these breathing disorders affect only adults. And while the vast majority of new cases of apnea are diagnosed in the adult population, doctors are seeing increased numbers of children exhibiting symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing. The symptoms, risk factors, ramifications, and treatments in the pediatric population can be quite different than in their adult counterparts.
Current estimates state that from 1 to 3 percent of the current US pediatric population suffer from the most common form of sleep-disordered breathing, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). And, like adults who suffer from the same disorder, the first sign of OSA is usually snoring. While this symptom alone cannot conclusively diagnose OSA (up to 20 percent of children will show some degree of snoring, often intermittently), there are other signs that may point to some form... [More]
The incidence rate of sleep apnea in the truck driving industry has received a lot of needed awareness over the past few years. Recent studies show that up to 50 percent of truck drivers are considered to be obese (as compared to 34 percent of the adult male population in other industries), and some industry estimates say that over a quarter of truck drivers have some form of sleep apnea.
With this realization comes the fairly scary assumption that truck drivers with untreated sleep apnea are tired drivers - drivers who are on our roadways far more than an average office worker with daytime drowsiness would be. This idea has sparked many debates within the trucking industry, the Department of Transportation agencies in each state, and Congress.
Below are quotes from a 2010 article by Jeff Casale on the state of regulations surrounding sleep apnea treatment and diagnosis, and truck driving:
"According to a 2002 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration commissioned study, out of 3.4 m... [More]
Bringing new and much needed awareness to sleep apnea, Shaq, the larger-than-life basketball player, worked with Harvard Medical School to film his sleep study preparation and sleep apnea diagnosis. A funny and educational video, Shaq and his girlfriend discuss his initial symptoms (she speaks about hearing him stop breathing during the night - a common symptom among undiagnosed sleep apnea sufferers), and Shaq finds out from his physicians that he needs to be on CPAP for lifelong sleep apnea treatment.
In typical Shaq fashion, he handles the diagnosis with panache and a healthy dose of humor. And upon seeing his new CPAP mask, he simply asks, "Can I wear it to the club?" We love that Shaq is willing to come forward about this common disorder, hopefully removing some of the shame or stigma many CPAP users have and providing hugely needed education and awareness for those not yet diagnosed.
The number of health complaints believed to be related to Obstructive Sleep Apnea are plentiful, with cardiovascular disease, GERD, and high cholesterol all possibly related to untreated apnea. One of the most well-researched related health conditions, though, is the life-changing and very common Type 2 Diabetes. The most common form of diabetes by far, Type 2 is marked by high glucose levels in the blood and can be associated with obesity. It is now estimated that up to 1 in 4 individuals with Type 2 Diabetes will also have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and, unfortunately, many of these people are currently undiagnosed and untreated.
Untreated OSA makes controlling blood sugar more difficult as, it is theorized, the hormones released during interrupted sleep inhibit the effects of insulin in the body. So not only could someone with untreated OSA be opening themselves up to a host of other related medical problems, they also could be inhibiting their diabetes treatment, or causing their dia... [More]