Study Finds Sleep Apnea Increase Stroke Risk

Posted on November 9, 2005

MSNBC.com reports that a study has found an increased risk of stroke for sleep apnea sufferers. The study also found that using a CPAP machine does not reduce the stroke risk.
About 4 percent of Americans suffer from extreme daytime fatigue because their sleep is disrupted by sleep apnea, forcing them to repeatedly wake up if only for a second. Another 16 percent of Americans have apnea without fatigue.

A seven-year study, led by Klar Yaggi of the Yale University School of Medicine, found that people with apnea were twice as likely to die or have a stroke. The risk more than tripled among volunteers with the worst apnea.

The study involving 1,022 people also showed that the risk persisted even with treatment to keep the throat open during sleep, mostly through a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. Other study volunteers lost weight or had surgery to ease their symptoms.
The article does have a quote from Klar Yaggi, who led the study, that said the machine is still worth it for sleep apnea sufferers if it improves the way they feel.
"We're really treating you to improve how you feel. Walking around exhausted is a just a horrible quality of life," he said.
This particular article did not have any speculation or theories as to ways sleep apnea and stroke may or may not be related but if the study is correct is does indicate that sleep apnea is something that should be closely monitored.
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