Sleep problems connected to heart disease: New sleep apnea concerns

Lana Bandoim's picture
Sleep apnea and heart disease

A recent study describes the link between sleep apnea and high blood pressure among patients who have heart disease. There are new concerns about diagnosing sleep problems quickly because people who take medication for their blood pressure are still at risk of having serious heart problems. Sleep disorders are a common issue for patients with cardiovascular diseases.

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One of the typical complaints among people with heart disease is related to difficulties with sleep. The American Heart Association shares that sleep apnea affects many patients and creates multiple risks ranging from high blood pressure to strokes. The organization encourages people to seek medical attention for their sleep problems instead of ignoring them.

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Sleep apnea refers to a condition that interrupts normal breathing in a patient during the night, and the stress of this disorder has an impact on the heart. The new study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine reveals there is another disturbing aspect of this condition that needs to be acknowledged. Despite taking medicine to control their high blood pressure, patients with sleep apnea still have blood pressure problems.

The solution to the high blood pressure issues may be as simple as a sleep study for the patients. It can help determine if sleep apnea is present, so medical professionals can begin a course of treatment that will also reduce the heart disease risks. A patient who is taking medication for blood pressure problems should not feel secure because the research points to sleep apnea’s ability to destroy health. A sleep study will require a patient to spend the night in a medical facility equipped to measure breathing. Once the condition is diagnosed, it is important to discuss treatment options with a doctor, but CPAP machines are commonly used to help.

Image: Kei salazar/Wikimedia Commons

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