Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

‘Wake Up’ To Health Risks Of Heavy Snoring

Date:
February 15, 2009
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
Heavy snoring can be far from a nuisance. It can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition where an individual briefly stops breathing during the night which raises the risk of heart failure and strokes.

Patient being evaluated in sleep lab.
Credit: University of Michigan Health System

Heavy snoring can be far from a nuisance. It can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition where an individual briefly stops breathing during the night which raises the risk of heart failure and strokes.

Related Articles


“Sleep apnea or sleep disordered breathing is one that we’re getting more and more interested in because we see a very strong association with strokes, heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems,” says Melvyn Rubenfire, M.D., director of Preventative Cardiology at the University of Michigan Health System’s Cardiovascular Center.

The cardiovascular risk factors that most often come to mind are smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and family history. But it’s important to be aware of the possible health risks of heavy snoring.

Snoring is caused by a blockage in the back of the throat. What you hear is the tongue forced to the back of the throat when a person is lying on their back.

When people snore they don’t always stop breathing, but there are chemicals in the brain that should trigger breathing that are not stimulated when a person snores. Without the stimulation the person will often stop breathing.

When a person obstructs at night and stops breathing, oxygen levels drop dramatically and hormones and adrenaline surge. Those hormones contribute to high blood pressure, irregularities of the heart and can trigger heart attacks

People who snore do not necessarily have obstructive sleep apnea but the relationship is pretty strong.

And the relationship between snoring and cardiovascular problems goes both ways. Those with heart problems are more likely to have sleeping disorders. For example, heart failure can lead to water retention – water buildup in legs, lungs and tissues in the back of the throat.

“So heart failure can be one of the causes of obstructive sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea can seriously worsen heart function and aggravate heart failure,” Rubenfire said.

Studies had long suggested a connection between snoring and cardiovascular problems but men made up most of the study group. According to a large study published in the February 2000 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, women who snore regularly have about twice the risk of heart attacks and strokes than women who never snore.

“Still it may be too early to tell if snoring is an independent risk factor for heart disease,” says Rubenfire who continues to review research on sleep disordered breathing as it relates to cardiovascular disease. “What we do know is if you treat people with obstructive sleep apnea the risk of cardiovascular disease improves dramatically.”

Rubenfire explains that anyone who snores loudly, wakes without feeling rested or has hypertension, diabetes or is overweight is more prone to sleep disordered breathing or obstructive sleep apnea.

The most important step in treating snoring is recognition and appropriate diagnosis. A very effective treatment – one that helps 90 percent of those who are compliant with the method – is using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device.

“These are excellent devices, called CPAP, … these are masks that prevent you from obstructing by creating some pressure,” says Rubenfire. “Simple snoring that’s not very loud and without any other symptoms can usually be handled simply by turning on your side.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "‘Wake Up’ To Health Risks Of Heavy Snoring." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090203140837.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2009, February 15). ‘Wake Up’ To Health Risks Of Heavy Snoring. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090203140837.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "‘Wake Up’ To Health Risks Of Heavy Snoring." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090203140837.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins