Features February 2011 Issue

Sleep Apnea and Snoring Put Your Heart Health at Risk

Research shows sleep apnea contributes to a buildup of non-calcified plaque in the arteries.

Daytime sleepiness is the least of your worries if you suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that affects your breathing at night. It’s estimated to affect between 11 million and 20 million Americans and research suggests that it raises the risk of death from any cause, but is particularly associated with increased cardiovascular risk. According to the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, roughly 38,000 cardiovascular deaths annually are in some way related to sleep apnea, with the links including high blood pressure and stroke. Recent research found that people with the most common type of sleep apnea—obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA—have more non-calcified plaque in their arteries, and a much higher risk of developing aggressive atherosclerosis than individuals without OSA.

To continue reading this article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to Heart Advisor

Get the next year of HEART ADVISOR for just $20. That's a savings of $19 off the regular rate.

With your paid subscription you will receive unlimited access to all of our online content. That is over a decade of previous issues from Cleveland Clinic, the hospital rated #1 in cardiac care by U.S. News & World Report - free of charge.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.