As many as 1 / 2 of all ladies might be struggling with sleep apnea, if your study published in an August edition from the European Respiratory Journal is any suggestion.

As part of the research, experts from Umeå University and Uppsala University, in Sweden, recruited a random population sample of 400 women, had them develop a questionnaire and monitored them while they were sleeping, Reuters reporter Kerry Grens said on Friday.

Of those women, “half experienced a minimum of five episodes an hour or so once they stopped breathing for longer than 10 seconds, the minimum definition of sleep apnea,” Grens noted. “Among women with hypertension or who have been obese two risks for anti snoring the numbers were even higher, reaching 80 to 84%of women.”

According to Anthony Bond of the Daily Mail, lead author Dr. Karl Franklin, a professor at Umea University, and colleagues selected 400 female subjects, ages 20 to 70, from a population sample of 10,000 people. All of them were fitted with sensors that measured their heart rate, eye movement, leg movement, blood oxygen levels, brain waves, and ventilation.

“The study, which was funded through the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation, found that apnea became more prevalent within the older age groups,” Bond added. “Among women aged 20-44, a quarter had anti snoring, when compared with 56 percent of women aged 45-54 and 75% of ladies aged 55-70“¦ Severe anti snoring, that involves more than 30 breathing disruptions each hour, was far less common“¦Just 4.6% of women 45-54 and 14% of women 55-70 had severe cases.”

Their work, that was supported by the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation, shows that doctors should regularly check obese women, as well as those who have hypertension, for sleep apnea, which Grens says has been associated with increased chance of stroke and cardiac arrest.