Sleep Apnea can cause strokes
I have friends with this problem and I'm quite worried about it.
Disorder More Than Doubles Risks, Yale Researchers Say
Tape-Recording Your Sleep
By Robert Tomsho For The Wall Street Journal
November 10, 2005
Searching for the causes of deadly strokes, medical researchers say they have identified a culprit in the bedroom: sleep apnea.
The disorder, often undiagnosed for years, causes sleeping people to temporarily stop breathing. A number of studies have found links between sleep apnea and serious cardiovascular disease.
A Yale University study ... found that the most common form -- so-called obstructive sleep apnea -- more than doubles the chances of a stroke or death. The Yale study also found that severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea can more than triple the risk of stroke or death. ... the higher incidence of stroke and death remained even after researchers adjusted for other traditional stroke-risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
A study by University of Toronto researchers earlier this year indicat[ed] patients with severe sleep apnea were as many as four times as likely to suffer strokes.
An estimated one in five American adults suffers from at least mild forms of sleep apnea ... Common symptoms include loud snoring, choking or gasping during sleep and daytime drowsiness... The disease often strikes those who have hypertension or are overweight. A 2003 study of 300 National Football League players found that 14% of them had sleep apnea, and the disease is believed to have played a role in the sudden death in 2004 of former Green Bay Packer great Reggie White.
Treatments include a mask-like device that is worn over the nose and mouth during sleep. The device is attached to a pump that pushes air through the mask to keep the upper air passage open. ... One big question raised by the Yale study, however, is whether treating sleep apnea will reduce the incidence of strokes.
Some researchers advise people to seek a doctor's help if their sleep partners notice that they stop breathing repeatedly during the night. For those who live alone, symptoms to watch for include difficulty concentrating, mood swings and falling asleep at inappropriate times during the day. Another strategy: Turn on a tape recorder at night and listen to how you breathe while sleeping.
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