Sleep apnea linked to increased stroke risk
People with obstructive sleep apnea are at greater risk of stroke or death from any cause, regardless of whether they have other stroke risk factors, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. In obstructive sleep apnea, the upper airway repeatedly closes during sleep, and people with this condition may stop breathing for 10 seconds or more, disrupting their sleep. Researchers studied 1,022 patients at a sleep center, 697 of whom were diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, to examine the role of the condition in the development of a first stroke or death from any cause. They found that obstructive sleep apnea is significantly associated with a greater risk of stroke or death from any cause, independent of other risk factors, including high blood pressure. Also, the risk of stroke rose as the severity of obstructive sleep apnea increased, the study suggested.
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