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Snoring and Heart Attacks

People who experience chronic snoring are at risk for serious health complications, such as obstructive sleep apnea and subsequent cardiovascular strain. Prolonged sleep apnea can create higher blood pressure and cause cardiac enlargement, which results in a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.

Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea is generally associated with obesity, which is also a primary risk factor for stroke and heart disease."The evidence is very strong for the relationship between sleep apnea and hypertension and cardiovascular disease generally, so people really need to know that," says Dr. Donna Arnett, incoming president of the American Heart Association. In the United States, heart disease is currently the leading cause of death, and stroke is a leading cause of both death and disability. High blood pressure serves as a major risk factor for both conditions.

Research suggests that snorers with sleep apnea are twice as likely to experience nonfatal heart-disease events and fatal heart attacks. To reduce the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular complications, patients are often treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in addition to being encouraged to lose weight and increase physical activity.

Because snoring can be an indication of sleep apnea and subsequent cardiovascular disease, it is essential that you consult your doctor to treat your snoring and to ascertain whether you are also experiencing any cardiovascular issues that require treatment. At home, try implementing several lifestyle changes to resolve snoring and to prevent cardiovascular complications. Losing weight and exercising are two of the most important strategies for reducing snoring and promoting physical health. Avoiding alcohol and sedatives and quitting smoking are also important to promote healthy throat tissue and aid regular sleep. Finally, establishing regular sleep patterns can often help you sleep better and minimize snoring.


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