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For women, snoring peaks in their 50s

Written by: Staff

NEW YORK, May 6 (Reuters) A survey of close to 7,000 women aged 20 years or older shows that snoring is most common among women in their fifties and the heavier a woman is, the more likely she is to snore.

Dr. Malin Svensson of Uppsala University and colleagues conducted the survey to identify risk factors associated with snoring, paying particular attention to body mass index (BMI) -- a measure of weight in relation to height.

Overall, 7.6 per cent of the women surveyed reported snoring. The likelihood of snoring increased with age, peaking in the 50- to 59-year-old age group, 14 per cent of whom reported snoring.

Snoring risk also increased with BMI and neck circumference, while women who smoked 10 cigarettes or more daily also were more likely to snore. Snorers also tended to be less physically active than non-snorers.

Alcohol dependence only increased snoring risk among underweight women, meaning those with BMIs below 20, while physical inactivity boosted the risk of snoring only in women with BMIs above 30.

These results suggest that risk factors for snoring vary based on a women's BMI, the authors conclude.

Snoring itself has been tied to adverse health effects like high blood pressure and stroke, and is an indicator of sleep apnea, a type of sleep-disordered breathing linked to heart disease and other serious health problems, Svensson and her team note in the journal Chest.

''The question of whether risk factors for sleep apnea differ with age and BMI in a similar manner remains to be investigated,'' they conclude.

Reuters DKS GC0936

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