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Untreated Sleep Apnea + Heart Disease – Connected?

For those on the “should I, should I not get a sleep study?” fence, please read the following.

According to the Center for Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA a connection may exist between sleep apnea and heart disease.

Although not conclusive and lengthy studies to determine if sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease are connected are a long way off, it is suspected that sleep apnea is a risk for heart disease.

I am next to the last person in the world to presume telling anyone else what to do but do offer information to investigate for yourself.

That said, I have practical experience with sleep apnea. The sleep study I had years ago led to me wearing a bipap and now, a recently added concentrator is connected to my bipap machine.

I’ve known about the right heart failure because we’ve been ‘watching’ it for some years. I did not worry about it though because I figured the other side of my heart must still be healthy. Remember, I am a patient, not a medical professional.

A week ago, I was told I have ‘congestive heart failure” …quite another thing. That involves the whole heart. I looked it up.

The point of this little tale is to say I have sleep apnea and developed a heart condition suggesting to me there may well be a connection.

{ It is proposed that given that CPAP treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is highly effective and essentially totally safe, and that the evidence is suggestive that sleep apnea is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, then we propose all patients with severe sleep apnea should be treated to reduce cardiovascular risk….}

Best wishes fence sitters … jump into health if you can.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19249449?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_SingleItemSupl.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=2&log$=relatedreviews&logdbfrom=pubmed

More later…. Sharon O’Hara

4 thoughts on “Untreated Sleep Apnea + Heart Disease – Connected?

  1. Hello Sharon,
    My name is Lori Palermo from Gouldsboro, PA. On Dec. 26, 2003 my dad passed away after a 13 year battle with COPD/Emphysema. Since that time I have become very involved in lung disease work and smokefree living. I launched my own website In Memory of my dad.
    I was wondering if you were from Pennsylvania? We would like to start organizing a Pa COPD Coalition.
    Thank you,
    lori

    1. I’m sorry you lost your dad in such a tough way, Lori….but glad you are involved with helping others through education. I smoked 40 years and understand the cigarette addiction and choke hold it can have on many of us. I craved to smoke a cigarette over two years beyond stopping the habit in 1997.
      I don’t live in Pennsylvania but did get lost there once while driving around and seeing some of the most beautiful horse country — you’ve got world class horses right there. I discovered the people were among the most friendly and helpful people I’ve met anywhere. The little country store I stopped to get directions back to Washington D.C. … well, that’s another story for another time.
      Best wishes, Lori and thanks for writing… Sharon

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