In a detailed study of over 4,300 middle aged men, obstructive sleep apnoea has been found to be a predictor of Ischaemic Heart Disease and stroke.
According to the researchers there is a clear link between sleep apnoea and arterial hypertension. The study findings have been published for peer review in the British Medical Journal.
During sleep patients with apnoea often develop hypoxaemia (reduced blood oxygen levels) and hypercapnia (heightened carbon dioxide levels). In severe cases noted during the study, the blood oxygen saturation of some patients fell below 70%. In patients we have seen and treated at The Sleep Therapy Clinics, we have recorded blood oxygen levels of under 60%, which is considered life threatening.
The cardiac index decreases during an apnoeic episode and increases appreciably at the resumption of ventilation, when the pulmonary and systemic arterial pressure increase temporarily, straining the heart, especially the right side.
Full details of the study can be found here.
Sleep Apnoea Is A Serious Medical Condition
Bottom line: sleep apnoea is a serious medical condition with potentially fatal consequences. If you believe you suffer from sleep apnoea, or if you know someone who does, it is critical the condition be treated, not just tolerated. Apart from the immediate health benefits, the improved feeling of wellbeing and vitality makes treatment a completely worthwhile endeavour.
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