Sleep Problem Linked to Heart Disease

Thursday 22nd July 2010

People who suffer from severe obstructive sleep apnea could be at increased risk of developing heart disease later in life, according to a new report published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine studied the health of 1,927 men and 2,495. Whilst researchers did not discover a link between obstructive sleep apnea and heart disease in women, they did find that men were up to 58% more likely to develop heart disease if they suffered from the sleep problem.

The sleep condition causes the airways to relax during sleep, halting air-flow to the lungs. Experts explain that the body often awakes, rushing with adrenaline, in response to oxygen deprivation caused by the sleep problem. However physicians warn that this burst of adrenaline - the body's flight or fight hormone - could increase blood pressure and worsen vascular problems. 


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