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Sleep Apnea

Created by dave. Last edited by dave, 18 years and 72 days ago. Viewed 8,727 times. #3
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What Is It?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the intermittent absence of breathing during sleep. The most frequent cause is the relaxed tongue blocking the throat which results in pauses in breathing. Impulses from the brain then arouse the person enough to restart breathing but not enough that the person is fully awake. This cycle repeats hundreds of times during sleep and results in sleep deprivation. Sleep apnea is sometimes referred to as the "Snoring Disease" as snoring is one of the symptoms. The condition often is undetected because those with sleep apnea think they slept well. The usual symptom that causes those with sleep apnea to seek help is daytime sleepiness or complaints of snoring and apneas observed by the bed partner.

Sleep apnea syndrome is defined as the presence of more than 30 apneas in a 7-hour sleep. In severe cases, periods of not breathing may last for 60 to 90 seconds and may recur up to 500 times a night.


Sleep Apnea

Sleep disordered breathing may take almost 10 years on the average to be diagnosed in women who have this condition. This is because the disturbance of sleep is more subtle than it is with insomnia.

Sleep apnea may affect 5% of the population. It can be due to obstruction of the airway at the nasal level or the back of the pharynx and is often, but not always, associated with snoring. There may also be a central nervous system cause of the stopped breathing (apnea). This type is not associated with snoring although a woman may stop breathing during sleep for 10 seconds or more. Sleep studies in which you sleep overnight in a sleep lab while having EKG and EEG wires attached to your body is the method of diagnosis.


New Markers Help Predict Heart Disease in Sleep Apnea Patients

Turkish researchers have identified two markers that may help predict the occurrence of cardiovascular disease among patients with sleep apnea, according to a study in the February issue of Chest.

Researchers analyzed serum cardiac risk markers in 32 male patients with sleep apnea scores greater than five (group I), 30 male patients with scores less than five (group II), and a control group of 30 subjects without sleep apnea. Serum homocysteine and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, markers associated with heart disease, were found to be elevated in group I compared with group II. Serum CRP values were increased in both group I and group II compared with the control group, and serum homocysteine values were higher in group I than in the control group. There were no significant differences between group I, group II and the control group with respect to age, body mass index and blood pressure.

Researchers conclude that increased levels of homocysteine and CRP may help predict the long-term prognosis for cardiovascular disease and the treatment of sleep apnea.


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