The daily rhythm of bone turnover is likely important for normal bone health, and recent research suggests that sleep apnea may be an unrecognized cause of some cases of osteoporosis. Sleep apnea’s effects on sleep duration and quality, oxygen levels, inflammation, and other aspects of health may have a variety of impacts on bone metabolism.
It’s important to determine the relationship between these two increasingly common diseases and to understand the biological processes that may connect them, experts note in a Journal of Bone and Mineral Research review.
“There are strong indications that daily rhythms are an intrinsic and important element of bone biology,” said senior author Dr. Eric Orwoll. “If sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea affect bone metabolism, they may have diagnostic and therapeutic implications for many patients, including those affected by sleep apnea in their early, bone modeling years,” added lead author Dr. Christine Swanson.