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Coronary Artery Disease Linked to Sleep Apnea

Posted On June 24, 2015
June 24, 2015

A study presented at the National Lipid Association Scientific Sessions evaluated 928 patients at sleep clinics, with a median follow-up of 9 months. The study was testing for the occurrence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) from a collection of patients having a range of sleep problems. Overall, 80.1% of patients had obstructive sleep apnea and of those with sleep apnea 10% also were diagnosed with Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder defined as the unconscious stoppage of breathing for short periods of time throughout a night’s sleep. With OSA, there is a soft tissue obstruction of the upper airway, which negatively impacts the flow of air.

Pauses in breathing can be just a few seconds to minutes, and occur as little as five to as many as 30 times per hour. OSA is further characterized as a partial reduction (hypopnea) to complete pauses (apnea) in breathing that can last longer than 10 seconds. Depending upon the number of times per hour these episodes are experienced during the course of a night, the severity is classified as mild, moderate or severe.

Coronary artery disease is the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, usually caused by atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis (sometimes called “hardening” or “clogging” of the arteries) is the buildup of cholesterol and fatty deposits (called plaques) on the inner walls of the arteries. These plaques can restrict blood flow to the heart muscle by physically clogging the artery or by causing abnormal artery tone and function.

Without an adequate blood supply, the heart becomes starved of oxygen and the vital nutrients it needs to work properly. This can cause chest pain called angina. If blood supply to a portion of the heart muscle is cut off entirely, or if the energy demands of the heart become much greater than its blood supply, a heart attack (injury to the heart muscle) may occur.

You have probably put together how dangerous of a combination these two conditions can be to your over all health, but let go over it anyway. OSA restricts the amount of oxygen from getting into your lungs to be carried to the heart. CAD is the restriction the blood flow moving through the arteries delivering oxygen throughout the body. Oxygen is the key element responsible for cellular activity that keeps our heart beating, brain thinking, kidney’s flushing etc… The main point being made is that with the severe lack of oxygen created from the two conditions you are at much higher risk for health complications such as: Heart Disease, Hypertension, Heart Attack and Stroke just to name a few.

If you suspect you might have sleep apnea, been diagnosed or would like to find out how you can avoid the high risk of developing other conditions, contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 to schedule a consultation.

 

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