A Bel Marra Health report indicates that a study suggests patients who experience a spinal injury could benefit from a sleep assessment to diagnose sleep apnea.

The results of the study showed that 77 percent of spinal cord injury patients have symptomatic sleep-disordered breathing and 92 percent have poor sleep quality. More specifically, there are high rates of obstructive sleep apnea among those with sleep-disordered breathing.

Dr. Abdulghani Sankari, lead author, said, “The majority of spinal cord injury survivors have symptomatic sleep-disordered breathing and poor sleep that may be missed if not carefully assessed. Our findings help in identifying the mechanism of sleep-disordered breathing in spinal cord injury and may provide potential targets for new treatment.”

“Sleep-disordered breathing may contribute to increased cardiovascular mortality in spinal cord injury patients. All spinal cord injury patients should undergo a comprehensive sleep evaluation using full, overnight polysomnography for the accurate diagnosis of sleep apnea,” added Dr. M. Safwan Badr who was also involved in the study.

The researchers studied 26 chronic spinal cord injury patients who all underwent baseline spirometry, filled out a number of questionnaires, and attended polysomnography with flow and pharyngeal pressure measurements.

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