By Dr. Brian McDonoughSponsored By Independence Blue Cross

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We have talked a great deal about sleep apnea in the past, and there is no doubt that people with sleep apnea have an increased risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular issues.

Now, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association Neurology Edition, sleep-disordered breathing is associated with more than a 25% chance of developing cognitive impairment.

As we look at the risks of dementia as people get older, we are trying to find ways to prevent potential risk factors.

This study is an important finding because it tells us about the importance of sleep-disordered breathing in adults and the fact we need to take it seriously.

Even though this research is early, it is important to realize that the cardiovascular issues alone are enough reason for people to make sure they take care of sleep apnea.