Its relation to age-related diseases
While still in its infancy, the theory that those with sleep apnea have a higher risk of developing age-related diseases is definitely a possibility. There is already a connection between sleep apnea and a decline in cognitive function, but this theory refers to a connection between the sleeping disorder and other conditions that have been known to cause life-altering issues, such as non-alcoholic liver diseases, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, type 2 diabetes and even metabolic syndrome.
Scientists have not yet determined why there is such a connection between poor sleep and age-related disorders but, what they do know is that fragmented sleep and oxygen levels in blood levels can lead to increased inflammation, which in turn can lead to the development of other diseases. So, the theory is, that given the poor sleep that those with sleep apnea have, and the fact that their oxygen levels are often interrupted, those with sleep disorders are more likely to develop the inflammation that is connected to the age-related diseases listed.