According to a report on Channel 7 News, doctors have warned that one in three Australians are facing serious health problems because of snoring.
Experts have been told the risks include high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and now, diabetes. The news report said:
"Norm Mareko used to fall asleep during the day, unexpectedly, even behind the wheel, and was recently diagnosed with sleep apnoea.
“I didn’t realise I had this condition until i had a car accident,” he said.
“I stopped breathing 36 times in one hour.”
Sleep apnoea has already been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and now diabetes has been added to the list.
“People have known about snoring and laughed about it for centuries. In fact that is one of the impediments to us getting people to realise this is a serious condition,” said sleep disorders expert Professor Colin Sullivan.
The problem is sleep disorders have been so overlooked and many doctors dismiss snoring as a potentially serious health issue. However one in three Australians could end up needing hospital treatment if they leave their snoring unchecked.
And the experts are concerned about the broader consequences.
Professor Paul Zimmet from the International Diabetes Institute said: “The health bill of Australia will go up and up and up and type 2 diabetes and obesity and sleep disturbances will bankrupt the economy.”