Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Heart Disease and Stroke Costs on the Rise

A recent Reuters' article reported that heart disease and stroke will cost the U.S. more than 500 billion dollars in 2010 – a six percent increase from the 2009 costs.

The cost includes both health care fees and lost productivity due to death and disease. A full report on these numbers is available online through the journal Circulation.

More important than the cost, is the lives affected by these diseases. Heart disease is the top killer of men and women in the U.S. It’s unfortunate that many of these cases are preventable.

Cardiovascular disease and stroke have long since plagued the U.S. population. Sleep apnea is a major contributor to both of these problems.

Sleep apnea keeps a person from getting restorative sleep during the night. The soft tissue in their throat collapses, blocking the airway and preventing airflow. When the airflow stops, the person wakes up to breathe again. This disrupted sleep pattern contributes to many health problems.

What’s causing this rise in heart disease and stoke? Eating too much or exercising too little can lead to many of these diseases. But sleep is also critical to good health.

Many people think that they can skimp on sleep. But no matter how busy their lives are, good sleeping habits are important.

The American Heart Association hopes to reduce U.S. deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent by 2020.

Is this goal possible?

If it is, it’s critical for people to get restorative sleep. Sleep allows the body to heal itself and gather energy for the next day.

Many people do not know that they suffer from sleep apnea. If you snore loudly, feel excessively sleepy during the day or have morning headaches, consider visiting a sleep center to get tested.

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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.