New Study: Playing Bassoon Protects Against Sleep Apnea

SEATTLE, June 10 -- Compared with other members of an orchestra, musicians who played a high-resistance woodwind instrument were less likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea, researchers found.

In a study of 901 professional musicians, the woodwind players also had a lower risk of apnea than did singers or conductors, according to Christopher P. Ward, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, who reported the findings at the meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies here.

High-resistance woodwind instruments are those in the double-reed category, such as oboes, English horns, and bassoons.

The protective effect was only observed in those musicians who practiced an average of three hours a day, Dr. Ward said.

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