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January 16, 2012

Women and Sleep Apnea

Women may be under-diagnosed with sleep apnea because they tend not to exhibit the classic symptoms that men do. A "typical" sleep apnea patient is a middle-aged, overweight or obese male who snores. Women present with insomnia, morning headaches, mood disturbances or other symptoms, many of which are non-specific.

According to sleep study experts, for every 2 to 3 men who are diagnosed with sleep apnea, one woman can also be diagnosed. However, in reality, the diagnosis is 1 in 10. When should women see their doctor? Symptoms may include:

Difficulty maintaining sleep, un-refreshing sleep, chronic fatigue, lack of energy, snoring, frequent nighttime urination, awakening gasping, daytime sleepiness, awakening with a headache, or edema (swelling) of the feet.

Pregnant women, over-weight or obese women and women who are or have transitioned through menopause are more likely to have sleep apnea. Women also have sleep disorders secondary to life-style stresses and hormones.

Posted by linda at January 16, 2012 7:11 AM

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