University of South Carolina

University seeks volunteers for sleep-apnea study

The University of South Carolina is seeking volunteers for a study on whether physical activity will reduce the severity of sleep apnea.

Funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to researcher Chris Kline at the Arnold School of Public Health, the study is for men and women ages 18 – 55 who previously have received a diagnosis of sleep apnea or have the symptoms associated with sleep apnea, such as heavy snoring, waking up with shortness of breath or gasping for breath, or sleepiness during the day.

Participants will have an overnight sleep evaluation and then will be assigned to a 12-week physical activity program, in which they will have individual guidance and assistance.

They also will receive a free exercise stress test before and after the study and six months of free use of the exercise facility at the Public Health Research Center on Assembly Street. At the completion of the study, participants will receive $300.

Kline said studies indicate that between 10 – 15 percent of Americans suffer from sleep apnea, although many people go undiagnosed until a health problem prompts medical attention. Even when sleep apnea is diagnosed, as many as 50 percent of sufferers do not comply with the standard prescribed treatment, called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).

“Nearly every month, a new study is released, linking sleep to other health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, mood disturbances and hypertension,” Kline said.

Some medical studies have shown that untreated sleep apnea leads to an increased risk of death. Although other studies have suggested that physical activity may be very useful in reducing sleep apnea, no well-controlled studies have been conducted, Kline said.

“The University of South Carolina study will be the first to systematically research this question,” he said.

To be eligible to participate in this study, people should not be receiving treatment for sleep apnea, should be free of significant health problems, such as heart disease, and should not be getting regular physical activity.

For information, contact Chris Kline at 803-777-2666.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 09/24/09 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 09/25/09 @ 2:17 PM | Permalink

Sleep-apnea study

  • Who: Men and women ages, 18 – 55, who have sleep apnea or who are experiencing symptoms.
  • When: 12 weeks this fall and early winter
  • For more information: Call Chris Kline, 803-777-2666

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