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'Wake Up' to the Health Risks of Heavy Snoring
Date:2/2/2009

ailure can lead to water retention -- water buildup in legs, lungs and tissues in the back of the throat.

"So heart failure can be one of the causes of obstructive sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea can seriously worsen heart function and aggravate heart failure," Rubenfire said.

Studies had long suggested a connection between snoring and cardiovascular problems but men made up most of the study group. According to a large study published in the February 2000 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, women who snore regularly have about twice the risk of heart attacks and strokes than women who never snore.

"Still it may be too early to tell if snoring is an independent risk factor for heart disease," says Rubenfire, who continues to review research on sleep disordered breathing as it relates to cardiovascular disease. "What we do know is if you treat people with obstructive sleep apnea the risk of cardiovascular disease improves dramatically."

Rubenfire explains that anyone who snores loudly, wakes without feeling rested or has hypertension, diabetes or is overweight is more prone to sleep disordered breathing or obstructive sleep apnea.

The most important step in treating snoring is recognition and appropriate diagnosis. A very effective treatment -- one that helps 90 percent of those who are compliant with the method -- is using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device.

"These are excellent devices, called CPAP, ... these are masks that prevent you from obstructing by creating some pressure," says Rubenfire. "Simple snoring that's not very loud and without any other symptoms can usually be handled simply by turning on your side."

For more information:

Snoring

http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/aha/aha_snoring_
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SOURCE University of Michigan Health System
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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