Special masks worn by sufferers of sleep apnea, called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, could offer help in reducing both diabetes and heart disease, as well as other health issues.
One of the main types of sleep apnea, which is a disorder from pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you are sleeping, is known as obstructive sleep apnea, when airways become collapsed or blocked during sleep. This condition has previously been connected with a heightened risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke and obesity.
The CPAP therapy used to treat this involves a face mask that is attached to a machine providing air pressure to ensure that airways remain open. This new research from the United States, which has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, explored the link between obstructive sleep apnea and metabolic syndrome through tests on 86 patients with sleep apnea for a three-month period with either CPAP treatment or a placebo mask.
It was revealed that after the three months, the patients that suffered from moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea experienced reduced blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as seeing other heart risk factors being reversed. However, one problem is that not all people with sleep apnea use CPAP masks for a variety of reasons, such as it not being properly diagnosed, or even finding the mask cumbersome.

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