Men with severe sleep apnea more at risk of heart problems

03/24/2005 - News

Men with severe sleep apnea more at risk of heart problems

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD

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Men with severe sleep apnea more at risk of heart problems

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

A new study shows that men with untreated severe sleep apnea are more likely to have a heart attack.
Sleep apnea is a condition where the person stops breathing temporarily many times in the night, because of an obstruction to the airways. It has previously been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, but it has been hard to account for confounding factors like obesity.

Researchers in Spain now report on a comparison between healthy men, simple snorers and men with treated and untreated sleep apnea. Those with severe and untreated sleep apnea proved more likely to have a fatal or non-fatal heart attack during the ten years of follow up. Snoring is not a risk factor on its own. And treatment of sleep apnea appears to remove the extra risk of heart disease. Therefore, doctors and patients should take sleep apnea seriously and ensure it gets treated.

Source
The Lancet 19th March 2005

Created on: 03/24/2005
Reviewed on: 03/24/2005

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