Most of us who have reached a certain age are doing what we can to slow down the aging process. With the actual increase in life expectancy, delaying the aging process and age-related diseases has become a crucial aspect of interest for society.  Millions of dollars are spent each year on creams, lotions, and potions to slow the ravages of aging.  One of the pieces of advice I remember my parents giving me is to get a good night’s sleep each night.  At the time I got this suggestion, I really did not even contemplate the possibility that I would ever get older, much less be concerned with slowing down the process.
The relationship between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and aging has been studied by many.  However, OSA has traditionally been considered a problem of older patients.  Recent studies have shown that the consequences of OSA may be the cause of early and progressive changes associated with aging in younger patients.  In this context, I am talking about patients that are between the ages of 30-60 years old.
    The recent studies show that OSA in this younger age group is associated with cellular and molecular changes that are associated with the aging process. Keep in mind that, despite the fact that OSA is two to three times more prevalent in patients older than 65, the process of aging on a biochemical level is beginning much earlier, making the need for early diagnosis much more important.