Can Snoring be a Clue That Your May Have Heart Disease?
For years, snoring has been something that has affected millions of people and has caused the end of many relationships. It is a condition that many attribute to hereditary and other health reasons. It is a condition that many attribute to the position in which they sleep, or how many drinks they had earlier in the night or even how bad their allergies are. These are all contributing factors and causes of snoring, but a recent study has shown that snoring may be a sign that you may be suffering from something far more serious including heart disease or even stroke.
This latest study was conducted at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, and the most shocking part of the research was that snoring was more likely to lead to stroke or heart attack than other factors including high cholesterol, smoking or being overweight and/or obese.
What the study found was that when you snore, you cause damage to the carotid arteries. These are the arteries that supply oxygen through your body and to the brain and by damaging these arteries, you are increasing your chances of developing heart disease or stroke.
When researchers examined snorers, they looked at how the carotid arteries were affected and saw that the thickness of the walls of these arteries thickened, showing that damage was already past its onset stage. While the exact reason behind the damage in the arteries is unknown, researchers felt that the damage was done by the vibrations in your body that lead to the snoring sounds. This research isn’t the absolute end-all when it comes to snoring research as there have been studies in the past that have seen the exact opposite result. In previous research between sleep apnea and artery disease, the damage to the arteries were created first, thus leading to lower oxygen levels in your blood. Lower oxygen levels in the blood have also been known to lead to snoring.
There are other factors that need to be taken into account in terms of this study. All of those examined in this study were between the ages of 18 and 50, so those in their sixties might not have a chance to reverse the effects.
While there are still certain doubts and questions about the study, the most important aspect of this study is the need to not brush aside snoring as something that isn’t serious. Snoring may not immediately lead to death, but when it goes untreated or even without a visit to the doctor, more serious ailments and conditions can develop. When it comes to the actual doctor visits, the lead author of the study is hoping to have snoring added to the list of questions asked by physicians in addition to family history and factors like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol levels.
The actual term used for artery disease or the hardening of the arteries is atherosclerosis. This occurs when the inner walls of your arteries begin to be lined with waxy plaque. The longer this condition develops internally, the more the walls thicken and become stiff. When this happens, airflow in your body can be restricted including to the brain and heart, both of which are areas that you don’t want to experience and problems.
Snoring is still something that will never completely go away, but it is something that you can work at eliminating from your body. The faster you can rid your body of the condition, the higher the chances are that you will be able to fight back against the development of heart disease and avoid having a stroke.