Snoring Linked to Sleep Apnea
Scientists at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, England, say their research indicates people with a relative who had obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, were much more likely to snore themselves. With this condition, sleepers tend to stop breathing repeatedly during the night, which causes snoring.
Dr. Simon Wharton, who led the research effort, says the discovery means "we have made real progress in identifying a family link." The next step, he says, is to conduct DNA tests on the families involved "to pinpoint a gene that boosts the likelihood of a person developing the condition."
If the condition is gene-related, experts say, it could boost the chances of genetic research producing a cure for or a means of preventing the development of OSA -- and save a lot of families a lot of sleepless nights. It also could help explain why some people without the traditional risk factors, such as obesity, often snore.
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