Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Snoring found to lead to bronchitis

CHICAGO (Reuters) - People who snore are more likely to develop chronic bronchitis, the hacking cough most often associated with cigarette smoking or breathing polluted air, Korean researchers reported on Monday.

Why snoring might lead to bronchitis is not clear, said a team led by Inkyung Baik of Korea University Ansan Hospital in South Korea.

The report, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, covered 4,270 men and women between 2001 and 2006. Of the group, 314 came down with chronic bronchitis.

"We collected information on snoring at baseline and identified incident cases of chronic bronchitis during a four-year follow-up period," Baik's team wrote.

After taking into account whether those in the study smoked or were otherwise at risk for bronchitis, the investigators concluded that people who snored five nights a week or less were 25 percent more likely to develop bronchitis than those who never snored.

The risk was 68 percent higher for those who snored six to seven times a week.

"Our findings provide support for the hypothesis that snoring is associated with chronic bronchitis," the researchers wrote.

It could be that snoring vibrates the upper airways, stressing them and leading to inflammation, the researchers said.

(Reporting by Michael Conlon; editing by Maggie Fox)