How untreated sleep apnoea puts your heart at high risk

Nearly 30 million Americans have a chronic health problem that more than doubles their risk of death due to heart disease.

The culprit is obstructive sleep apnoea, a disease in which the upper airway collapses during sleep, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

Increased odds of several diseases

The AASM points to several major warning signs and risk factors for sleep apnoea: snoring, choking or gasping, fatigue, obesity and high blood pressure.

"Anyone who experiences snoring, choking or gasping during sleep should talk to a medical provider about their risk for sleep apnoea," Dr Kelly Carden, president of the academy, said in an AASM news release.

Untreated sleep apnoea increases the odds of several diseases. Which ones? The acronym HEARTS will help you to remember:

  • H: Heart failure
  • E: Elevated blood pressure
  • A: Atrial fibrillation
  • R: Resistant hypertension
  • T: Type 2 diabetes
  • S: Stroke

If you have any symptoms of sleep apnoea, the AASM encourages you to reach out to a health care provider.

Image credit: iStock

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