Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Heavy Snoring Increases Risk of Carotid Atherosclerosis

If you are a heavy snorer, you are more likely to suffer from carotid atherosclerosis, according to a recent study published in the journal "Sleep." Carotid atherosclerosis is the buildup of plaque within the carotid arteries in the neck. This can lead to a narrowing of the artery, which can contribute to high blood pressure and reduce blood supply to the brain. However, the main danger of carotid atherosclerosis is that portions of the plaque can break off and lodge themselves in blood vessels in the brain, starving portions of the brain of blood supply, causing a stroke.

Researchers studied 110 adults, both snorers and nonsnorers, and evaluated them using polysomnography (commonly used to diagnose sleep apnea) and scanned them for carotid and femoral atherosclerosis. Based on the polysomnography, study subjects were divided into categories of mild, moderate, and heavy snorers. It was found that the risk of carotid atherosclerosis was 20 % for mild snorers, 32 % for moderate snorers, and 64 % for heavy snorers. There was no association between snoring and femoral atherosclerosis.

Snoring is more than just a nuisance. Not only can it be associated with sleep apnea, but it can have serious health complications of its own. If you are a snorer, you should seek snoring treatment today at the Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment Center in Gurnee, Illinois.

posted by Dr. Candelaria at 1:08 PM