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.