Today’s Headlines: How Sleep Apnea Can Affect Your Heart, Coffee No Longer Considered Carcinogenic, and The Connection Between Diabetes and Weight Loss

Sleep apnea may increase the risk for heart problems. Sleep apnea is a condition where you stop breathing while you’re sleeping. It has been linked to heart issues in past research but new research has shown that the risk still remains even when heart health has improved. “All the participants had undergone angioplasty, the clearing of a blocked heart artery, including placement of a tube called a stent to keep the artery open…The researchers then tracked participants for an average of five and a half years. During that time, 10 people with sleep disordered breathing and three without sleep breathing issues died. Major adverse events like heart attack and stroke had occurred in more than 20 percent of those with sleep breathing issues, compared to 8 percent of those without breathing problems.” In previous research, sleep apnea was linked to other heart issues such as “high blood pressure, elevated glucose and abnormal heart rhythms.” (Fox)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reduced its warning about coffee. This news comes 25 years after the WHO said that coffee may be carcinogenic and possibly lead to cancer. “The about-face by the WHO came after its International Agency for Research on Cancer [IARC] reviewed more than 1,000 studies that showed coffee is not a cancer culprit…However, the IARC said that drinking very hot beverages is now classified as ‘probably carcinogenic.’ The group based its findings on what it described as limited evidence from epidemiological studies that showed positive associations between cancer of the esophagus and drinking very hot beverages. The studies targeted places such as China and South America, where tea or maté is often consumed at temperatures of about 158 degrees Fahrenheit—roughly 10 degrees hotter than people in the U.S., U.K. and Europe are accustomed to drinking coffee or tea.” Water used to make coffee should not exceed 205 degrees Fahrenheit and should not be consumed until the hot liquid has cooled down. (WSJ)

Losing weight can improve the health of people with diabetes. If you have diabetes, a new study suggests that losing at least seven percent of your body weight can lower your blood pressure and help maintain blood sugar and cholesterol levels. “Larger weight loss improved blood sugar control, systolic blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels more than lesser weight loss at year one and year four, as reported in Diabetes Care. Blood sugar control tended to improve in the first year and then worsen again. At year four, it was only still improved among people with large weight losses – and that was true regardless of whether the large weight loss had later been regained.” This study was only observed over a four-year period so long-term benefits are not known. (Reuters)