Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Men With Sleep Apnea Face Larger Heart Hazard

The silent killer can sneak up if some very audible clues go ignored. Loud gasps for air during sleep are a dead giveaway. But America's leading killer is even more selective in its targets, a new study suggests.

The relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and heart disease may not be so simple. Study results show that men older than 70 and women with sleep apnea don't have an increased risk for heart failure, unlike middle-aged men.

The study published in the journal Circulation tracked heart disease-related incidents between 1998 and 2006. Those included heart attacks, heart bypass operations and deaths.

Nearly 2,000 men and 2,500 women with no history of heart problems participated. Clinicians used a sleep study to screen each subject for sleep apnea at the beginning of the study. About half had varying degrees of OSA.

Nearly 500 cardiac events occurred over the length of the study including 76 deaths. The occurrences were 68 percent more likely for men with severe sleep apnea between 40 and 70years of age. The same relationship was not clear for women and older men.

But that doesn’t mean you should let OSA go undetected or untreated. People of any age or gender still face a long list of symptoms and risks including fatigue, memory loss and stroke.

A variety of treatment options are available to suit each patient’s unique needs. Patients with moderate OSA can choose from Continuous Position Airway Pressure (CPAP), surgical options or oral appliance therapy, as described in a recent CNN Headline News segment:

Find out if you have obstructive sleep apnea at a nearby sleep center. If you’ve been diagnosed with OSA, a dental sleep specialist can help you get started with an oral appliance

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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.