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Untreated Sleep Apnea + Heart Disease – Connected?

March 11th, 2010 by Sharon O'Hara

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.$=relatedreviews&logdbfrom=pubmed

More later…. Sharon O’Hara

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4 Responses to “Untreated Sleep Apnea + Heart Disease – Connected?”

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  3. Lori Palermo Says:

    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,

  4. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    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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This is a patient to patient blog to exchange information and resources...from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) to Arthritis to Cellulites to Sarcoidosis to Sleep Apnea to RLS to Psoriasis to Support Groups to Caregivers and all points in between. Written by Sharon O'Hara.

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