Serenium Highlights New Research Presented at the American Thoracic Society (ATS), Shining a Spotlight on the Link between Sleep Apnea and Chronic Disease

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A number of researchers and clinicians will be presenting state-of-the-art science at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) in San Francisco, May 13 to 18, 2016, investigating the relationship between sleep apnea and chronic diseases and other health risks.



cardiovascular disease can be predicted from ECG changes during sleep.

Serenium Inc. is shining a spotlight on leading-edge research being presented at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) meeting in San Francisco from May 13 to 18, 2016. Researchers and clinicians will be highlighting new studies, theories and efforts to understand the correlation between sleep apnea and chronic disease.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common disease with important neurocognitive and cardiovascular consequences such as hypertension, diabetes, depression and cardiovascular disease. Important ATS research presentations will address:

  • Obesity and sleep apnea, by Ueyama et al with findings that “obesity and hypertension were related to the OSAS (obstructive sleep apnea syndrome) as previous research and the control of obesity and risky medication use may play an important role in OSAS prevention and progression.”
  • Depression, mood, weight, accidents & errors, quality of life from Veterans Administration data, by Brown et al show that “the effect of impaired sleep will be discussed on weight gain or weight-regain after weight loss, impaired mood and or depression, risk for accidents or errors, and quality of life.”
  • Cardiovascular disease and sleep, by Sankari, et al concluding that “cardiovascular disease can be predicted from ECG changes during sleep.”
  • High prevalence and risk of sleep apnea in hospitalized patients, by Pickens, et al presenting how “the prevalence of risk for OSA in hospitalized adults, including the elderly, is alarmingly high. 9 of the 102 patients [studied] had an in-hospital event. All patients who experienced adverse in-hospital events had positive sleep questionnaires.”
  • Snorers showing a high prevalence of sleep apnea, by Sowho, et al discussing how “OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) was highly prevalent [in their study] in habitual snorers, despite the absence of other OSA-related symptoms.”
  • Correlations of inflammatory markers and sleep apnea, by Dogan discussing how the “presence of positive correlations between inflammatory markers and OSAS severity demonstrated that OSAS is a systemic inflammatory disease and inflammation is more obvious in obese patients.”

This exciting ATS research builds on the medical evidence that sleep apnea is highly correlated to chronic diseases and other health risks. Since sleep apnea alters the immune system and causes oxidative stress (an imbalance based on the low levels of oxygen that then causes toxic effects), it creates a cascade of negative health pathways that ultimately can contribute to chronic diseases. It has also been demonstrated that people with sleep apnea are two to five times more likely to have these chronic diseases, like hypertension, diabetes, depression or cardiovascular disease.

In a recently published editorial article, “What Is the Future of Sleep Medicine in the United States?”, the authors described the current situation by outlining that the identification and treatment of sleep apnea can improve health outcomes for people and lower health care costs [Barbara Phillips, MD, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine University of Kentucky College of Medicine and current President of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP); Atul Malhotra Kenneth, M. Moser Professor of Medicine, UC San Diego Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Division and current President of the American Thoracic Society (ATS); and David Gozal, MD, Herbert T. Abelson Professor of Pediatrics, University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences and incoming President of the American Thoracic Society (ATS)].

The authors go on to cite that sleep apnea is very prevalent worldwide (up to 50% of men in a Swiss study) and is highly undiagnosed and under-treated. They then suggest various solutions to improve long-term patient care. One opportunity is to improve the quality and availability of non-specialist diagnosis and care, which can be effective and less expensive for sleep apnea patients.

To address improved non-specialist care, Serenium Inc. recently announced a new partnership with a global healthcare organization to advance the development of its biomarker program to detect the risk for sleep apnea through an easy-to-use and economical urine test. Through this partnership, Serenium will accelerate efforts to commercially target these biomarker offerings to the over 500,000,000 people at risk in just the USA and China, plus the rest of the world.

“Serenium’s diagnostic urine tests will enable primary care physicians and other clinicians to quickly and reliably identify and diagnose patients at risk of sleep apnea. Because of this, practitioners will be more comfortable utilizing this economical and clinically validated tool to quickly and easily evaluate patients,” said M. Cory Zwerling, CEO of Serenium.    

Improved screening of all people will have a dramatic impact on the early identification of those at risk for sleep apnea. People will be able to be routinely tested in annual physicals, just like glucose testing, or even purchase tests at their retail or online stores. Once tested, those at risk can be evaluated by their physicians for appropriate interventions or treatment, before their chronic medical conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes or depression, present or become more burdensome to them and their families.

“Serenium’s biomarkers will become a new standard diagnostic and screening solution that will overcome today’s hurdles and costs of early sleep apnea testing for everyone. Such a test does not exist today,” adds Zwerling.

The ATS presentations are highlighting new learnings regarding sleep apnea and chronic diseases. The prevalence of this condition is significant. Therefore, having a clinically validated and cost-effective diagnostic test, like Serenium’s urine biomarkers, will be important to enable the large-scale, early evaluation of sleep apnea as part of non-specialist care (i.e., general practitioners). These and other solutions will thwart the growth and costs of chronic diseases around the world.

For more information, please contact Serenium.

Media Contact:
M. Cory Zwerling
Chief Executive Officer


Serenium’s mission is to proactively screen all children and adults who snore, or have sleep disordered breathing, in order to predict and pre-empt chronic diseases. Through the early identification of at-risk people with Serenium’s biomarkers, this easy-to-use urine test will reduce the burden of costly and debilitating chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression and cardiovascular disease. Administered during a patient’s annual physical, or via at-home screening, Serenium’s first-ever set of clinically validated biomarkers will improve health outcomes, decrease patient suffering and lower healthcare costs.

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Cory Zwerling
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