Heart health requires more than just eating healthy, and identifying Obstructive Sleep Apnea is another key component.
For two decades, scientists have reported higher risk of sleep apnea in patients with high blood pressure and heart disease.
30% of Hypertension patients have OSA
37% of Congestive Heart Failure patients were diagnosed with apnea, even without daytime sleepiness
However, we need to think about these statistics in the opposite direction, because it’s Obstructive Sleep Apnea that puts patients as risk of heart disease! It should be stated the in terms of OSA patients.
50% of OSA patients have hypertension
Severe OSA patients have 2-4X higher odds of arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation
Central sleep apnea risk is also linked to cardiovascular disease which is often missed, but it is just as important to address.
Recognizing that sleep apnea is the contributing cause of cardiac disease has 2 important implications:
If you suspect you have sleep apnea but have been ignoring symptoms, such as loud snoring or daytime sleepiness, do not put off getting tested. The longer you wait, the more likely you are to develop a major symptom, such as high blood pressure! Get started with Millennium Sleep Lab
If you already have heart disease, treatment for sleep apnea could be a simple way to improve your cardiovascular health! If you aren’t being treated for OSA, get tested. If you have already been diagnosed, stay compliant with your treatment.
Several research studies have shown that hypertensive patients that started CPAP saw a significant reduction in blood pressure. Those with severe OSA had an average reduction of 10 mmHg! Another study showed a lower recurrence of atrial fibrillation in OSA patients that were treated with CPAP compared to those that refused CPAP.
While this study looked specifically at CPAP treatment, other treatments like a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) can be just as effective. Learn more at Sleep Impressions
We learned have during the pandemic that the heart disease population is at higher risk of COVID and other viruses, so treating sleep apnea is even more important!