A Link between Sleep Apnea and Sudden Cardiac Death

Sleep Apnea and Sudden Cardiac Death

Sleep Apnea and Sudden Cardiac Death have been linked, and if you suspect you may be suffering from Sleep Apnea it’s time to schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Sleep Apnea affects people of all ages, and unfortunately, if left untreated can cause serious health complications, including death.

The Huffington Post explains that sudden cardiac arrest kills more than 450,000 people each year and thanks to a 20-year study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, it was discovered that Sleep Apnea significantly increases your risk of sudden cardiac death. Sudden cardiac death occurs when your heart stops unexpectedly because of problems with the electrical system in the heart. People who have irregular heartbeats are also susceptible to sudden cardiac death.

If you have been following Dr. Jack Ringer’s blog, you will know that Sleep Apnea affects as many as 12 million adults in the United States. However, because Sleep Apnea often goes undetected, the numbers could be much higher.

A Sleep Apnea diagnoses is made after a patient takes part in a sleep study or undergoes home testing under the supervision of a physician. People who have a cessation in breathing for at least 10 seconds or more and as often as five times per hour while sleeping are usually diagnosed with Sleep Apnea.

The research team discovered that people who have Sleep Apnea and suffered from sudden cardiac death often died at night. That was the first link that was discovered between Sleep Apnea and Sudden Cardiac Death.

There are three measures used by scientists in order to predict ones risk of sudden cardiac death. These measures include being over the age of 60, having 20 or more Sleep Apnea episodes every sixty minutes and low blood oxygen levels.

Oxygen saturation occurs when there isn’t enough air flowing into the lungs. The lowest oxygen saturation recorded in the study was recorded at 78 percent or less with the risk of sudden cardiac death increasing by a shocking 80 percent. Healthy people have an oxygen saturation level of between 95 and 100 percent.

Although the direct connection cannot be explained, scientists believe that there may be several reasons why Sleep Apnea and sudden cardiac death are related. Most experts now believe that Sleep Apnea occurs more often in people who are overweight. However, not all people who have Sleep Apnea are obese. Having other risk factors, including heart disease or heart failure could also put people in the high-risk category for sudden cardiac death. Adding Sleep Apnea to the mix is a recipe for disaster.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea schedule an appointment with Dr. Jack Ringer who can determine what type of Oral Appliance Therapy would be best for your particular needs. It really could be a matter of life or death as their really could be a link between Sleep Apnea and Sudden Cardiac Death. Call or click today.

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