Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with numerous heart conditions, including heart attack, abnormal heart rhythms and congestive heart failure. Untreated sleep apnea stresses the heart because it deprives the body of oxygen and restful sleep. During an apneic event—where insufficient air flows to the lungs and organs—the body compensates with a rise in blood pressure.
Because of this, sleep apnea can have serious consequences. Research shows people with untreated sleep apnea have twice the risk of having a stroke and five times the risk of having a fatal heart attack.
Heart Conditions and Sleep Apnea
The link between sleep apnea and heart conditions is a dangerous one:
Sleep and High Blood Pressure
- Sleep apnea often causes a rise in blood pressure. If a person already has high blood pressure (hypertension), sleep apnea can worsen the situation
- Untreated sleep apnea often makes a person more resistant to hypertensive medications—increasing medical costs and making it more difficult to control the condition
Sleep and Stroke & Heart Attack
- Sleep apnea can greatly increase the risk of stroke and heart attack because of its association with poor blood pressure control, impaired blood sugar control, abnormal heart rhythms and low blood oxygen levels
Abnormal Heart Beat
- Research has demonstrated a very strong association between sleep apnea and a serious heart arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation
- Untreated sleep apnea sufferers are twice as likely to have a recurrence of atrial fibrillation when compared to sleep apnea patients who were effectively treated with CPAP therapy
Treat Your Sleep Apnea to Control Your Heart Condition
Treating sleep apnea lessens the strain on the heart and can reduce blood pressure throughout the day:
- Research has shown OSA treatment benefits congestive heart failure patients
- Research shows therapy also greatly decreases the risk of stroke and heart attack
If you have undiagnosed sleep apnea, you are putting yourself at risk for a heart condition. Learn how to get tested in the comfort and privacy of your own home with an AccuSom® home sleep test.