Sleep Apnea And Heart Disease Linked In Older Men

A recent study from Boston University’s school of medicine found that obstructive sleep apnea is linked to an increased risk of heart failure and coronary heart disease in middle-aged and older men. 1,927 men and 2,495 women over 40 were monitored for the study. 

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Related To Heart Failure

“Men with obstructive sleep apnea were 58% more likely to develop new congestive heart failure over eight years of follow up compared to men without sleep apnea,” stated Daniel Gottlieb, the study’s author. He continued, “There is a lot of undiagnosed sleep apnea, and that, at least in men, is associated with the development of coronary heart disease and heart failure. Only about 10% of sleep apnea cases are diagnosed” 

Middle-Aged Men Greatly Affected

All study participants were free of coronary artery disease and heart failure at the beginning of the study. After adjusting for multiple risk factors, researchers found that obstructive sleep apnea was a significant predictor of incident coronary heart disease in men who are less than 70 years old. Men between the ages of 40-70 with an apnea hypopnea index (API) greater than 30 were 68% more likely to develop coronary artery disease than men with a much lower AHI.

The American Heart Association notes that if you are obese, hypertensive or diabetic, or if your partner says you snort or snore at night, or if you awake in an un-rested state, you should go to your doctor and ask if you might have sleep apnea. Weight loss through diet and exercise may help people battling this condition.