Sleep Apnea Is More Serious Than Many People Realize 睡眠呼吸中止比許多人以為的嚴重
One of the lighter moments along my journey to receiving a sleep apnea diagnosis was learning that "heroic snoring" is a clinical term. It sounds more like an oddball super power — snores that can be clearly heard through walls. Many of us have such a snorer in our lives, and some endure the disruption it causes nightly.
We hardly need research to appreciate the difficulties this poses. Yet some studies on it have been done, and they document that snoring can lead to marital disruption, and that snorers' bed partners can experience insomnia, headaches and daytime fatigue.
But heroic (and less-than-heroic) snoring can also be a sign of an even deeper problem: obstructive sleep apnea, which is marked by a collapse of the upper airway leading to shallow breathing or breathing cessation that causes decreases in blood oxygen.
Sleep apnea can be downright deadly, and not just for those who have it. It's associated with a greater risk of depression, heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular conditions, as well as insulin resistance.
As I learned, there's no reason to meekly accept sleep apnea: There are many treatment options that can control it.
The stakes are not small. In the past five years, crashes involving an Amtrak train in South Carolina, a Long Island Rail Road train, a New Jersey Transit train and a Metro-North train in the Bronx have resulted in multiple deaths, hundreds of injuries and tens of millions of dollars in property damage. Undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea were blamed in each case.
And these are far from the only sleep apnea-related accidents involving trains, buses, tractor-trailers and automobiles. Up to 30 percent of motor vehicle crashes are caused by sleepy drivers. Drivers with sleep apnea are nearly five times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident than other drivers. One study found that 20 percent of American truck drivers admit to falling asleep at traffic lights.
You can have sleep apnea without being a loud snorer, just as you can snore without having sleep apnea. But because they're related, what controls sleep apnea also controls snoring. A variety of machines and devices, even surgery for extreme cases, can address both conditions.
But relative to the population that snores (about 40 percent of adults) or that has sleep apnea (about 25 percent of adults), few are diagnosed or get treatment. One study, for example, found that 90 percent of people with sleep apnea aren't diagnosed.
Since 1900, average life expectancy around the globe has more than doubled, thanks to better public health, sanitation and food supplies. But new study of long-lived Italians indicates that we have yet to reach the upper bound of human longevity.
"If there's a fixed biological limit, we are not close to it," said Elisabetta Barbi, a demographer at the University of Rome. Barbi and her colleagues published their research Thursday in the journal Science.
In 2016, a team of scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx made the bold claim that Calment was even more of an outlier than she seemed. They argued that humans have reached a fixed life span limit, which they estimated to be about 115 years.
Anyone who studies the limits of longevity faces two major statistical challenges.
There aren't very many people who live to advanced ages, and people that old often lose track of how long they've actually lived. "At these ages, the problem is to make sure the age is real," Barbi said.
Barbi and her colleagues combed through Italy's records to find every citizen who had reached the age of 105 between 2009 and 2015. To validate their ages, the researchers tracked down their birth certificates.
The team ended up with a database of 3,836 elderly Italians. The researchers tracked down death certificates for those who died in the study period and determined the rate at which various age groups were dying.
It's long been known that the death rate starts out somewhat high in infancy and falls during the early years of life. It climbs again among people in their 30s, finally skyrocketing among those in their 70s and 80s.
The researchers also found that people who were born in later years have a slightly lower mortality rate when they reach 105.
"The plateau is sinking over time," said Kenneth W. Wachter, a demographer at the University of California, Berkeley, who co-authored the new study. "Improvements in mortality extend even to these extreme ages."
"We're not approaching any maximum life span for humans yet," he added.
文章主要推翻人類壽命（human life expectancy）已達到或已出現上限（limit），約莫是115歲的說法，指出人類尚未達到任何最高壽命（maximum life span），言下之意，隨著條件改善，人類的最高壽命還會繼續上升。
Human life expectancy，human lifespan，human longevity都是「人類壽命」意思，且可相互為用。expectancy（名詞）意為預期、期待，life expectancy 意為預期壽命。lifespan（名詞）也可寫作life span，意為壽命、使用期限、有效期限，span （名詞）在此指一段時間。longevity（名詞）意為壽命或長壽（long life）。
Advanced age（advanced years）意為「高齡」，如advanced age fertility treatment （高齡生育治療），Advanced-age fertility has been increasing。（高齡生育一直在增加）。台灣的高齡產婦（advanced maternal age，高齡懷孕)定義為懷孕時34歲、生產時35歲以上女性，文中的advanced ages 泛指活到高齡的老人。