This common sleep problem may increase risk of high blood pressure, sudden death

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

In a recent study published in BMJ Open Respiratory Research, researchers found that people living with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition that occurs when a person’s airway becomes blocked while they are asleep, are twice as likely to experience sudden death.

They also found that OSA, which is estimated to affect upwards of 1 billion people worldwide, increases a person’s risk of developing high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure.

The study is from Penn State College of Medicine. One author is Anna Ssentongo.

In the study, the team checked more than 42,000 patients worldwide and conducted a systematic review of sleep apnea-related studies published through January 2020.

They found that people with OSA have a greater risk of dying suddenly from various causes, including heart death. According to the researchers, this risk increases with age.

Patients with sleep apnea experience shallow or interrupted breathing, which disrupts their sleep.

The research shows this condition can be life-threatening. Those with OSA were at a nearly twofold higher risk of sudden death and cardiovascular mortality compared to those without OSA.

Patients with OSA experience oxidative stress, or a lack of available oxygen to cells, which can contribute to an imbalance of antioxidants in the body.

Over time, this imbalance damages cells and can speed up the aging process and lead to an array of health problems.

The team says obstructive sleep apnea is a common condition that can have fatal consequences.

This is something that many patients do not consider when they are diagnosed with the condition, and the current research will hopefully bring more attention to its prevention and treatment.

If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies about salt sensitivity may increase risk of high blood pressure and findings of women face unique risks for high blood pressure and stroke.

For more information about blood pressure health, please see recent studies about people with slightly high blood pressure may need medication and results showing that healthy people could benefit from blood pressure-lowering drugs.

Copyright © 2021 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.