Sleep Apnea and Stroke Risk

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sleep apnea may forecast a much more dangerous eventstroke. Dr. Edward Hill discusses a study that looked at the link between sleep apnea and stroke in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Obstructive sleep apnea more than doubles the risk of stroke in men and also increases the danger in women.

Researchers with the Sleep Heart Health Study looked at more than 5,000 people age 40 and older who had no history of stroke. Increased risk of stroke appeared in men with mild sleep apnea and rose with severity. Men with moderate to severe sleep apnea were about three times more likely to have a stroke than men with mild or no sleep apnea.

The participants performed a standard at-home sleep test to determine whether they had sleep apnea. They were followed for about nine years, and during that time, 193 suffered strokes85 men and 108 women.

Although more women had strokes, relatively more men with sleep apnea than without sleep apnea had strokes.

Researchers say more than 15 million strokes occur worldwide every year, and that about a third are fatal. Increased risk of stroke in people with sleep apnea exists even without other risk factors, such as weight, high blood pressure, race, diabetes and smoking.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.