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Sleep apnea increases the risk of low testosterone.

Men with sleep apnea are more likely to have low testosterone levels, according to a 2021 study. Men with severe apnea are at the greatest risk of low testosterone.

Researchers reviewed the findings of 18 studies involving more than 1,800 men that examined links between sleep apnea and male testosterone levels. Then they analyzed a subset of the studies after matching the men’s age, body mass index, and severity of their sleep apnea.

They found that the men with sleep apnea were more likely to have low testosterone levels, even after considering their age and body mass index. However, the subset analysis revealed that this relationship was only notable for those with severe apnea.

Sleep apnea is a common, but serious, sleep disorder characterized by brief moments of paused or shallow breathing. People with sleep apnea are at greater risk of high blood pressure, stroke, abnormal heart rhythms, heart failure, diabetes, weight gain, and heart attacks.

This review identifies links between sleep apnea and testosterone levels. It also underscores the importance of diagnosing and treating sleep apnea, particularly among men whose apnea is more severe.

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