Snoring is frustrating for sufferers and their bed partners, but strokes and heart disease are a new development when it comes to conditions predicted by the somnolent behavior.
Stroke and heart disease are public health issues with a variety of precipitates and predictors, and some of the leading causes of death and disease in the developed world.
And while strokes and snoring may not seem to go hand in hand, researchers uncovered a new link between the former and the latter that could have some useful applications in the prediction and prevention of strokes.
Stroke and heart disease were pegged as factors during new research conducted by otolaryngologists at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
Researchers Robert Deeb, MD and Karen Yaremchuk, MD, examined snoring as it relates to stroke and heart disease, and discovered that the symptom can uncover damage to carotid arteries. The research will be presented later this week at the 2013 Combined Sections Meeting of the Triological Society, and has been submitted to the medical journal The Laryngoscope.
“The researchers looked at the carotid arteries in snorers and found increased thickening of the artery walls, indicating damage already setting in. The researchers suggested that the damage could be due to the trauma and inflammation caused by the vibrations of snoring.”
The site continues:
“However, previous research on the connection between sleep apnea and artery disease has found a reverse connection – the arterial damage comes first, lowering the amount of oxygen in the blood, leading to breathing interruptions. It could be that thickening of the arteries is contributing to the snoring as well, not just the other way around.”
All subjects involved in the research around strokes, heart disease and snoring were between the ages of ages of 18 and 50, youthful for the worry of such problems to be looming.
In a statement, Deeb explained:
“Our study adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that isolated snoring may not be as benign as first suspected … Patients need to seek treatment in the same way they would if they had sleep apnea, high blood pressure or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.”
Sleep apnea, one of the primary causes of snoring, has long been linked with cardiovascular disease including heart attack and stroke.