Previous research has revealed that untreated sleep apnea can lead to a number of potentially dangerous health problems, including stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and heart failure.
According to HealthDay News, researchers from Chi Mei Medical Center in Tainan, Taiwan, compared medical records from patients who had been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea with medical records from patients who didn’t have the sleep disorder. They reportedly found that those with sleep apnea were 2.7 times more likely to be diagnosed with osteoporosis over a six-year period.
"Ongoing sleep disruptions caused by obstructive sleep apnea can harm many of the body's systems, including the skeletal system," said Dr. Kai-Jen Tien, co-author of the study, in a press statement. "When sleep apnea periodically deprives the body of oxygen, it can weaken bones and raise the risk of osteoporosis […] The progressive condition can lead to bone fractures, increased medical costs, reduced quality of life and even death."
The source reports that the study didn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship between sleep apnea and osteoporosis, but revealed an association between the two.