13:54 PM

Stop This Sleep Thief

Arthritis Today reports research suggests a link between certain types of arthritis (i.e. gout, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, etc.) and sleep apnea, a condition in which your breathing stops and starts many times throughout a sleep cycle. However this link is not completely understood.

Arthritis Today spoke to Theodore R. Fields, MD, FACP, rheumatologist at HSS, who said many people with sleep apnea go undiagnosed, and advised those who suspect they have apnea to speak with their doctor because as there are treatments. Treatments include using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask or mandibular advancement device (through people with arthritis of the jaw should avoid the latter.)

Studies have demonstrated poor sleep contributes to higher levels of next-day arthritis pain – but it also may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Dr. Fields added, “It is especially important for people with inflammatory arthritis to be screened for sleep apnea, since they are already at risk for cardiac disease.”

This article appeared in the May-June 2019 print issue.