Study: Players Prone to Sleep Apnea – sports players – Brief Article

Brook Raflo

Byline: Brook Raflo

London, Ontario, Canada

Although the National Football League’s season has ended, sleep may not come easily for some weary players, according to a recent report from researchers at the University of Western Ontario.

Experts typically associate sleep apnea with middle-aged men, but the disorder may be present among young, physically fit men, too, said Charles George, lead author of an article that appeared last month in The New England Journal of Medicine.

George based this conclusion on a study of more than 300 professional football players from eight NFL teams. Compared to men of similar size and age, these football players were nearly five times more likely to have sleep apnea.

Fourteen percent of the study’s participants experienced sleep-disordered breathing, and that percentage jumped to as high as 34 percent for higher-risk players such as linemen.

San Diego-based ResMed, whose Sleep Disordered Breathing Foundation sponsored the study, said the study illustrates the fact that sleep apnea is widespread and can affect people who otherwise appear to be healthy.

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