Friday, November 20, 2009

Kidney Transplant Patients Should Be Extra Aware of Risk Factors

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients are at risk for many diseases. But apnea patients who have had a kidney transplant should be extra aware of their risk for heart disease.

A new study examined cardiovascular risk factors in sleep apnea patients.

The study found that kidney transplant patients with OSA have an increased risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Kidney disease patients with OSA were twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke than patients without apnea.

The researchers have recommended that doctors screen transplant patients for OSA and treat the disease when appropriate.

Oral appliance therapy is a safe and effective treatment option. This therapy involves a dentist making an oral appliance that is worn during sleep. These appliances help patients breathe clearly and reduce there risk for heart disease, stroke and many other illnesses.

Four percent of men and 2 percent of women in the general population suffer from sleep apnea.

In contrast, twenty-five percent of transplant patients in the study had moderate to severe sleep apnea.

OSA is a serious condition that should be treated. Patients can find a dentist who is trained in oral appliance therapy here. They should get tested for apnea at an accredited sleep center.

MedPage Today and U.S. News and World Report have more on the study.

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.