Untreated Sleep Apnea Can Increase The Risk Of Heart Attack, Stroke

By Dipannita - 17 Jun '16 12:13PM

Not treating sleep apnea and other sleep-related problems in people who have had a procedure done to open blocked arteries may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. These are the findings of a new study conducted by a team of researchers at Kobe Central Hospital in Japan.

During the study, the researchers found that Japanese patients who had undergone the artery-cleaning procedure after having an heart attack or chest pain were twice likely to heart attack, stoke or other life-threatening heart condition in case they also experienced a sleep-related problem.

According to lead author Dr. Toru Mazaki of the department of cardiology at the hospital, irregular low-oxygen period dispersed between sleep can trigger or initiate an inflammatory response that may result in a damage to the heart.

These short periods of low oxygen also persist in the most common form of sleep apnea as well, called obstructive sleep apnea. It is a condition in which breathing stops for a few seconds during sleep. This is because the tissue that exists in the throat collapses, which, in turn, blocks the airway.

The condition collapse of the tissue in the throat can take place multiple times throughout the night, thus interrupting the sleep of the person in question and making the patient feel tired and lethargic throughout the day. Another condition that restricts the amount of oxygen that a sleeper gets is snoring. It results because of a partial blockage in the parts of the respiratory system, especially the sinuses.

To study whether sleep-disordered breathing affects people who have already been treated for clocked arteries, the research team studied the heart and breathing rate of 241 patients in Japan. The team tracked the breathing issues in the subjects over one night of sleep. The measurement took place one week after they had undergone angioplasty to clear the blocked artery.

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