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Untreated Sleep Apnea Puts Your Heart at High Risk
  • Kayla McKiski
  • Posted February 3, 2020

Untreated Sleep Apnea 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 apnea, a disease in which the upper airway collapses during sleep, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

The AASM points to several major warning signs and risk factors for sleep apnea: 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 apnea," Dr. Kelly Carden, president of the academy, said in an AASM news release.

Untreated sleep apnea 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 apnea, the AASM encourages you to reach out to a health care provider.

More information

The National Sleep Foundation has more on sleep apnea.

SOURCE: American Academy of Sleep Medicine, news release, Jan. 16, 2020
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