Snoring increases risk of cardiovascular disease, hospital visits

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Washington, Mar 4 (UNI) Loud snoring with breathing pauses has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and emergency visits to hospitals, a new study says.

The research found loud snorers had 40 per cent greater odds of having hypertension, 34 per cent greater odds of having a heart attack and 67 per cent greater odds of having a stroke, compared with people who did not snore, after statistical adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, diabetes, level of education, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

Quiet snoring was associated only with an increased risk for hypertension in women. Loud snoring was also associated with increased use of health care resources (emergency visits and hospitalisation),it added.

''Our findings suggest loud snoring with breathing pauses carries a significantly increased risk for cardiovascular disease and is close to obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) on the spectrum of sleep disordered breathing,'' said Istvan Mucsi, MD, PhD, of Semmelweis University and Humber River Regional Hospital and Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto in Canada, co-author of the study.

''Snoring is a sound made in the upper airway of your throat as you sleep. It is a sign that your airway is being partially blocked,'' explained Marta Novak, MD, PhD, of the Institute of Behavioral Sciences at Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary, author of the study.

''About one half of people who snore loudly have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA happens when the tissue in the back of the throat collapses to block the entire airway. This keeps air from getting in to the lungs. It can happen a few times a night or several hundred times per night,'' Sciencedaily quoted her as saying.

The study, published in the journal Sleep, found habitual snoring occurred in about 24 per cent of adult women and 40 per cent of adult men. Both men and women were more likely to snore as they age.

Men, however, became less likely to snore after the age of 70, it added.

It also found that snoring was more common in people who were overweight. It may increase during pregnancy. Factors such as drinking, smoking, using muscle relaxers and using drugs also increased the likelihood of snoring, the research said.

UNI XC RJ BD1557

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