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Dangers of Snoring

Supplier: MDSA

If you have sleep apnoea — a potentially serious disorder in which your breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep — your problems could go beyond the loud snoring and other nocturnal noises that are often associated with this disorder.

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Dangers of Snoring

You could be at greater risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) and its associated risks of heart attack and stroke.

It's estimated that up to half of those with sleep apnoea also have high blood pressure, and your risk of developing hypertension within four years may as much as triple if you have obstructive sleep apnoea, says Sheldon Sheps, M.D., emeritus professor of medicine and former chair of the Division of Hypertension in the Department of Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

Preliminary research indicates there may be a link between the two. Fortunately, you can take steps to reduce or eliminate both disorders.

It's apparent that many of those who have sleep apnoea — about 50 percent — have high blood pressure.

Middle-aged men with obstructive sleep apnoea also may be five times more likely than those without this condition to develop heart disease.

And those who have central sleep apnoea may have an increased risk of developing an impaired pumping action of the heart, a potentially dangerous heart rhythm abnormality.

However, it's unknown whether sleep apnea actually causes these conditions, or results from the fact that those who are more prone to them — the overweight and sedentary — are also more likely to develop sleep apnea.

A study published in the August 2000 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine finds that people who snore loudly — in the absence of other risk factors for sleep-disordered breathing, such as obesity — are 1½ times more likely than others to have highblood pressure.

Some research suggests a possible explanation: These breathing stoppages seem to damage the endothelial cells that line blood vessel walls and help regulate blood pressure by causing vessels to expand (dilate).

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