Introduction: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common medical disorder affecting 1 billion people globally. It is characterized by recurrent airway collapse (partial or complete) leading to intermittent hypoxia, sleep fragmentation, and activation of the sympathetic system. OSA has been hypothesized to play a role in the development of cancer and its progression. In this retrospective database study, we aim to analyze the incidence of hematological malignancy in patients with OSA compared to the general population and its statistical significance.


The National Inpatient Sample database which is a part of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project was analyzed to look for the prevalence of hematological malignancies in patients with obstructive sleep apnea and its significance. Data from 28484087 patients were included. It showed that 43 patients out of 1215675 (0.003%) patients with OSA developed Hodgkin's lymphoma whereas 1425 patients of 27268412 (0.005%) without OSA also developed Hodgkin's lymphoma. Non-follicular lymphoma was found in 455 patients with OSA (0.03%) and 10803 patients without OSA (0.03%). Of 1215675 patients with OSA 2670 developed follicular lymphoma (0.21%) while 73720 developed follicular lymphomas in the control group (0.27%). Multiple myeloma was found in 3109 patients in the OSA group (0.25%) and 88577 in the control group (0.32%). Lymphoid leukemia was seen in 3625 patients with OSA (0.29%) and 102658 patients without OSA (0.37%). The study's findings showed that there was no significant increased risk of hematological malignancies in patients with OSA.

Conclusion: Although OSA has been associated with various types of malignancies, based on our study results there doesn't seem to be an increased risk associated with the development of hematological malignancies in patients with OSA.

No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

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