Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease

Mackenzie Thompson

by Mackenzie Thompson

Life Saver, AMC

posted on Oct 17, 2013, at 9:51 pm


Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition in which the airways constrict, becoming narrow or closed, decreasing the amount of oxygen in the body and causing the patient to either partially or completely wake up. This may lead to many different health conditions primarily involving the cardiovascular system. OSA affects about 9% of women and 24% of men. Contributing risk factors include body weight, smoking, and diabetes. The primary treatment method is a CPAP, which is a machine that delivers Continuous Positive Airway Pressure during sleep and results in enhanced relaxation and improved energy levels after use.

In a collaborative study involving 1,927 men and 2,495 women, a strong link between OSA and congenital heart disease/failure has been discovered. The link was found in men between the ages of 40 and 70 whose apnea-and-hypopnea scores (AHI) were between 5 and 30. This is measured by the number of times the patient breathing stops or becomes restricted for more than 10 seconds in a given hour. The men in this category showed a 68% increased risk for congenital heart disease and a 58% increased risk for congenital heart failure. Interestingly, women of all ages and older men showed no relative increase in risk from having OSA.

A separate study showed that 56% of people who are newly diagnosed with OSA already are showing signs of left ventricular diastolic dysfunction, while only 20% of the same study’s control patients showed similar damage. Though after using a CPAP machine, participants also showed significant improvement in the same area.

Unfortunately, a large number of the population suffering from OSA is completely unaware of their condition, which is usually noticed by a spouse or similar observer who notice heavy snoring and/or abnormalities in breathing during sleep.

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is a lover of world travel, photography, design, style and Chinese cooking. She is passionate about working towards a purpose, recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Media and Marketing, and is currently residing in Manhattan.

Contact Mackenzie at mackenzie.thompson@advmedcert.com

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