Here’s an important study that must be taken seriously. Researchers from UCSF and various other institutions showed that in elderly women, having sleep apnea significantly increases your risk of developing mild cognitive impairment or dementia compared to those women who don’t have sleep apnea. In a study of 298 women as part of an osteoporosis study that underwent sleep studies, 105 (32%) were found to have significant obstructive sleep apnea (AHI >15). After 5 years, women with sleep apnea had a higher rate of cognitive impairment or dementia (44.8%) than those without sleep apnea (31.1%).
Knowing what we already know about sleep apnea and how it can ravage the brain, these results are not surprising.