Sleep apnea boosts death risk

August 1, 2008 4:04:11 PM PDT
Experts say the results from an 18-year study remove any reasonable doubt that sleep apnea is a fatal disease.

Researchers say people with sleep apnea are four to six times more likely to die from any illness than people who do not suffer from sleep-disordered breathing.

The journal "Sleep" published its findings Friday.

The disorder results when soft tissue in the back of the airway collapses and blocks it causing an interruption in breathing during sleep that lasts ten seconds or more.