Tags: stroke | risk | apnea

Apnea Raises Stroke Risk

Wednesday, 01 February 2012 10:24 PM

Severe sleep apnea may raise the risk of silent strokes and small lesions in the brain, according to a study presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference this week.
The study, conducted by German researchers, involved 56 stroke patients – average age: 67 years -- who were tested for sleep apnea. Researchers also conducted brain-imaging scans.
What they found:
• Ninety-one percent (51 of 56) of the patients who had a stroke had sleep apnea and were more likely to have silent strokes and “white matter” lesions that increased risk of disability at hospital discharge.
• Having more than five sleep apnea episodes per night was associated with silent strokes.
• More than one-third of patients with white matter lesions had severe sleep apnea and more than 50 percent of silent stroke patients had sleep apnea.
"We found a surprisingly high frequency of sleep apnea in patients with stroke that underlines its clinical relevance as a stroke risk factor," said Dr. Jessica Kepplinger, the study's lead researcher and stroke fellow in the Dresden University Stroke Center's Department of Neurology at the University of Technology in Dresden.

© HealthDay

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German researchers link sleep apnea to a higher risk of suffering silent strokes.
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 10:24 PM
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