Published research suggests, due to sex differences in kidney function, women may gain more renal benefits from sleep apnea treatment than men.

“Chronic kidney disease is a growing epidemic worldwide, highlighting the urgency of identifying novel and treatable risk factors,” David D.M. Nicholl, nephrology fellow at Western University, and Sofia B. Ahmed, MD MMSc, FRCPC, of the University of Calgary, Canada, told Healio Nephrology. “Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is common in CKD and associated with increased kidney risk.

Sleep apnea typically affects more men than women. However, women with sleep apnea are less likely to be diagnosed and treated and may therefore be at increased risk from untreated sleep apnea. We know from our previous work that treatment of OSA with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) improved renal hemodynamics and renin angiotensin system activity (a hormone system that is harmful to kidney function), but whether there were sex differences in kidney function in patients with sleep apnea was unknown.”