Obstructive Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea Syndrome and Osteoporosis

By Patrick Daly - Last Updated: January 3, 2023

In a recent systematic review and meta-analysis, published in Frontiers in Endocrinology, researchers evaluated the association between obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) and osteoporosis incidence, lumbar spine bone mineral density (BMD), and lumbar spine T-score.

According to the study’s lead author, Chaoyu Wang, patients with OSAHS had a higher rate of osteoporosis and decreased lumbar spine BMD and T-score. “Through the meta-analysis of this paper, it can be concluded that the effective management of OSAHS can effectively reduce the risk of osteoporosis,” Wang summarized.

OSA Associated With Increased Osteoporosis Incidence

The analysis included 15 studies with a total of 113,082 patients that were published to various online databases by April 2022. Data of patients with OSAHS were collected and compared with controls.

According to the report, compared to the controls, patients in the OSAHS group had:

  • Increased rate of osteoporosis (odds ratio [OR], 2.03; 95% CI, 1.26-3.27; Z=2.90; P=.004)
  • Decreased lumbar spine BMD (mean difference [MD], -0.05; 95% CI, -0.08 to -0.02; Z=3.07; P=.002)
  • Decreased lumbar spine T-score (MD, -0.47; 95% CI, -0.79 to -0.14; Z=2.83; P=.005)

The authors noted a larger study with adjustments for age and other diseases that affect osteoporosis is needed to verify that OSAHS is a risk factor for osteoporosis and whether it has an impact on lumbar spine parameters.

“In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that OSAHS patients have a higher incidence of osteoporosis, and both lumbar spine BMD and lumbar spine T-score are reduced,” the report summarized.

In closing, the authors suggested that, “in order to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, attention should be paid to the treatment and management of adult OSAHS, and active sleep intervention should be carried out.”

Related: CPAP for Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Impact on Cognition

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