Untreated sleep apnea puts your heart at high risk

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By Kayla McKiski
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, February 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Nearly 30 million Americans have a chronic health problem that more than doubles their risk of death due to heart disease.

The culprit is obstructive sleep apnea, a disease in which the upper airway collapses during sleep, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

The AASM indicates several important warning signs and risk factors for sleep apnea: snoring, choking or gasping, fatigue, obesity and high blood pressure.

"Anyone experiencing snoring, suffocation or gasping during sleep should talk to a medical provider about their risk of sleep apnea," said Dr. Kelly Carden, president of the academy, in an AASM press release.

Untreated sleep apnea increases the chances of several diseases. Which? The acronym HEARTS will help you remember:

  • H: heart failure
  • E: high blood pressure
  • A: atrial fibrillation
  • R: resistant hypertension
  • T: type 2 diabetes
  • S: stroke

If you have any symptoms of sleep apnea, AASM encourages you to contact a health care provider.

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SOURCE: American Academy of Sleep Medicine, press release, January 16, 2020

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