Men's Sleep Apnea Increases Heart Problems
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Helps, Say Spanish Researchers
More Heart Problems With Untreated Sleep Apnea
Heart disease was most common among men with severe, untreated obstructive sleep apnea. Their rates of heart attack or stroke were higher compared with the healthy men, simple snorers, and men with treated obstructive sleep apnea.
The study showed that untreated severe obstructive sleep apnea nearly tripled the risk of fatal heart disease and more than tripled the risk of nonfatal heart disease.
Simple snorers and healthy men weren't at higher risk of fatal or nonfatal heart problems. "Simple snoring is not a significant cardiovascular risk factor," write the researchers.
CPAP significantly cut the risk of heart problems, say the researchers, who included Jose Marin, MD, of Universitario Miguel Servet in Zaragoza, Spain.
Because the study only included men, the researchers don't know if the findings also apply to women. The study appears in the March 19 issue of The Lancet.