Snoring dangers for heart disease uncovered

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Snoring linked to future heart dangers
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Snoring may not be as benign as we thought, according to a new report. Researchers have found people who snore have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease that can lead to heart attack or stroke.

The high risk of heart related vascular disease persisted even when investigators for the study took into account other risk factors like high cholesterol, smoking and obesity.

Robert Deeb, M.D at the department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and senior author Kathleen Yaremchuk, M.D. suggest snoring vibrates the coronary arteries that can become atherosclerosis (narrowed) from the trauma.

Until now researchers associated heart disease with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). But Deeb says the process might begin with snoring.

“Snoring is more than a bedtime annoyance and it shouldn't be ignored. Patients need to seek treatment in the same way they would if they had sleep apnea, high blood pressure or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease”, Deeb said in a press release.

For the study they performed carotid artery ultrasounds on people who reported snoring and compared the finding to people who don't snore.

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They found increased thickness of the innermost lining of the arteries linked to trauma from snoring - the first sign of cardiovascular disease.

The findings will be presented this week at the 2013 Combined Sections Meeting of the Triological Society in Scottsdale, Arizona and has been submitted for publication in The Laryngoscope.

The finding is significant because 90 million Americans snore, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Snorers make noise because the tongue falls back into the throat making it narrower. During inhalation the walls of the throat ‘vibrate’ making the noise. The new study suggests the vibration also damages arteries to lead to heart disease.

Factors that contribute to snoring include deviated nasal septum, aging, sleep position and enlarged tonsils.

The researchers hope insurance companies will consider the findings and approve procedures to stop snoring that can mean higher risk of future cardiovascular disease.

Source:
Henry Ford Health System
January 24, 2013

Image credit: Photobucket

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