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Story Updated: May 13, 2013
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Does your partner snore like a beast next to you? Ever wonder if it's sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is a common disorder that causes your breathing to stop or get shallow. These breathing "pauses" can happen more than 30 times an hour. Now new research shows a huge jump in the number of people diagnosed with sleep apnea. University of Wisconsin researchers looked at data from more than 15-hundred people who were involved in a sleep study that began in 1988 and ran through 2010.
The results showed that over the last two decades, the number of sleep apnea cases increased 14 to 55 percent depending on gender and age.
The researchers estimate that 10% of men 30-49 years old currently have the disorder along with 17% of men 50-70. For women 50-70, the number was 9 percent
Drilling down further, the researchers found that men and those with higher body mass index had the highest prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing.
Researchers say being overweight or obese is the single most important cause of sleep apnea...and one that can be controlled through diet and exercise.
I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the information you need to protect your health.