Snoring Linked To Stroke And Heart Disease

Snoring Kills – Don’t Bury Your Head In The Sand

Brand new research completed by a team of Otolaryngologists at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit has found that snoring carries larger risk factor for stroke and heart disease than does smoking, excess weight, or high cholesterol.

Increased thickening in the lining of the two large blood vessels instrumental in supplying the brain with oxygenated blood is a precursor to atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries responsible for many vascular diseases.

Dr Robert Deeb

Dr Robert Deeb

“Snoring is more than a bedtime annoyance and it shouldn’t be ignored. Patients need to seek treatment in the same way they would if they had sleep apnea, high blood pressure or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease,” says lead study author Robert Deeb, M.D., with the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford.

The recent study results were released and presented at the 2013 Combined Sections Meeting of the Triological Society in Scottsdale, Ariz. It has also been submitted to The Laryngoscope journal for publication.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – a sleep disorder which occurs because of the collapse of airways in the throat during sleep and as a consequence causes loud snoring and periodic pauses in breathing – has for a long time been linked to cardiovascular disease, in addition to a host of other serious health issues.

However the real risk for cardiovascular disease, could actually commence with snoring, well in advance of it becoming OSA. Until recent events have show, there wasn’t much evidence in human suffers to show any similar connection between any type of snoring and cardiovascular risk.

Kathleen L. Yaremchuk, M.D.

Kathleen L. Yaremchuk, M.D.

This study revealed significant changes within the carotid artery of snorers – even for people not suffering with sleep apnea – most likely due to trauma and subsequent inflammation created by repeated vibrations of snoring.

Dr. Deeb along with senior study author Kathleen Yaremchuk, M.D. accumulated and examined significant volumes of data on 913 patients who were evaluated at the Henry Ford Hospital’s sleep center. These patients took had part in a long term diagnostic sleep study between December 2006 and January 2012. Ages ranged from 18 to 50 years and importantly, none had sleep apnea when they commenced at the baseline.

Fifty-four of these patients undertook the snore “outcomes” survey which examined their individual snoring habits. They also undertook a carotid artery duplex ultrasound to ascertain how thick the intima-media of their carotid arteries were.

The USA researchers came to the conclusion the condition could cause increased thickening of the patients arteries which could lead to brain haemorrhages, heart attacks and strokes. People who snore are more likely to experience this thickening or abnormalities within the carotid artery which supplies our brain with oxygenated blood.

Carotid ArteryCarotid intima-media thickness, an exact measurement of the thickness of the innermost two layers of the arterial wall, may very well be used to detect the presence and to monitor or track the ongoing progression of atherosclerotic disease. Intima-media thickness is actually the very first sign of carotid artery disease.

The study found, as a comparison to non-snorers, people who snored were found to have a significantly increased intima-media thickness within the carotid arteries. People who snored but used some form of anti snoring device where not included in the test case.

This study also in fact revealed no statistically differences in intima-media thickness for those patients with/without some of the normally traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease ie: diabetes, smoking, hypertension or hypercholesterolemia.Carotid Artery Thickerning

To follow on, The Henry Ford USA research team does plan to complete an additional study over time on this topic, in particular to ascertain if there is any increased incidence of cardiovascular events within people who snore.

Carotid Arterey - Increased Risk

There is an interesting interview completed by NBC News you may be interested in viewing. CLICK HERE to access the video. As it is an NBC News interview I am unable [copyright] to insert it in this article.

There is increasing evidence coming to light, as more research and clinical studies are completed, linking various health issues to snoring.

Another article worthwhile reading is titled Sleep Apnea Is Linked To Cancer. It is another long term study involving 1522 people over 22 years and was released in May 2012 in the USA. I would strongly recommend you read it before you leave the website.

Much of the information in this article was obtained from the Henry Ford Health System website.

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