Tags: Sleep | Apnea | Boosts | Stroke | Risk

Sleep Apnea Boosts Stroke Risk

Monday, 05 December 2005 12:00 AM

Even moderate sleep apnea - "sleep-disordered breathing" - has a huge effect on long-term stroke risk, sending it soaring by 400 percent, according to a disturbing Canadian study.

People with sleep apnea repeatedly stop breathing for 10 seconds or more - long enough to reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood and increase the amount of carbon dioxide. Moderate to severe sleep-disordered breathing is defined as 20 or more such events an hour.

"Although our analysis cannot shed light on the pathway by which sleep-disordered breathing affects stroke risk, these novel findings add justification to considering the problem as a condition that either precedes or may contribute to the development of stroke," said Dr. Douglas Bradley, of the Toronto General Hospital, one of the researchers.

The study included 1,475 people who were tested for sleep apnea and followed-up at four, eight, and 12 years. Seventy-six percent of the participants did not have sleep apnea, 17 percent had a mild form of it, and 7 percent had a moderate to severe problem.

Twenty-one of the people in the study suffered a first-ever stroke at an average age of 53.

"Our longitudinal analysis provides the first prospective evidence that sleep-disordered breathing after adjustment for age and sex is related to significantly increase odds of suffering a stroke over the next four years," said Dr. Bradley.

The study appears in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Even moderate sleep apnea - "sleep-disordered breathing" - has a huge effect on long-term stroke risk, sending it soaring by 400 percent, according to a disturbing Canadian study. People with sleep apnea repeatedly stop breathing for 10 seconds or more - long enough to...
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Monday, 05 December 2005 12:00 AM
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