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Sleep apnea increases stroke risk

05/27/2005 - News

Sleep apnea increases stroke risk

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD

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Sleep apnea increases stroke risk

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

A study shows that moderate to severe forms of sleep apnea can significantly increase the risk of stroke.
In sleep apnea, the person stops breathing, temporarily, many times in the night. The cause is an obstruction to the upper airways. Sleep apnea is linked to various health problems. Now a team at the University of Toronto reveal that it also increases the risk of stroke.

They looked at a group of nearly 1,500 people and found that those with moderate to severe sleep apnea at the start of the study ran a three to four times higher risk of having a stroke in the next four years. This was compared to a similar group who did not have sleep apnea.

However, the risk of stroke was not increased among those having only mild sleep apnea. The study provides yet another compelling reason for treating sleep apnea. It may also be worth looking at aspirin or blood-clotting therapy in this group to reduce stroke risk, although further research is needed into this aspect.

Source
American Thoracic Society meeting 23rd May 2005

Created on: 05/27/2005
Reviewed on: 05/27/2005

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