HealthDay News — Sleep apnea may lead to increased joint pain in postmenopausal women, according to a study published online Feb. 28 in Menopause.
Tamami Odai, M.D., Ph.D., from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University, and colleagues examined the relationships between sleep apnea and physical and psychological symptoms common during the menopause transition among 51 postmenopausal women with treatment-resistant sleep disorders.
The researchers found that 13.7 percent of women were diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. There was a significant association between a higher respiratory disturbance index and joint pain and between lower nadir transcutaneous oxygen saturation and fatigability, when adjusting for age, body mass index, and the background factors related to the respiratory disturbance index and nadir transcutaneous oxygen saturation.
“This study highlights an opportunity to increase identification of women with obstructive sleep apnea, which is underdiagnosed in women who often present with vague symptoms such as insomnia, fatigue, and morning headaches,” Stephanie Faubion, M.D., medical director of the North American Menopause Society, said in a statement. “According to these findings, joint pain may be another symptom that should prompt consideration of a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea in women.”