Sleep apnoea 'linked to cardiovascular disease'

5 November 2012

People with sleep apnoea are at risk of having the same early cardiovascular damage as people with diabetes, according to new research.

The study, presented at a European Society of Cardiology meeting, looked at the link between obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and cardiovascular disease.

OSA is linked to a heightened risk of hypertension, arrhythmias, myocardial infarction, stroke, sudden cardiac death and heart failure.

Dr Raluca Mincu, who presented the study said: "Patients with moderate to severe OSA had endothelial dysfunction and higher arterial stiffness than controls, and their results were similar to patients with diabetes mellitus. This suggests that OSA is associated with a high risk for cardiovascular disease."

She added that patients need to realise that a serious cardiac pathology can lie behind snoring, and they should be referred to a sleep specialist.

If they do have OSA then it is important that they adopt a healthy lifestyle to counteract the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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