Sleep studies are tests that record specific body functions during sleep. These include heart rate, breathing rate, nasal airflow, brain wave activity, eye movement, blood oxygen level, and muscle movements.
- Sleep studies are used to identify sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and parasomnias. Moreover, they assess the efficacy of specific ongoing treatments.
- An estimated 15 million adult Americans have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is common in people with hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. Conversely, having OSA makes you more susceptible to coronary artery disease, stroke, and atrial fibrillation.
- People with heart failure are more likely to experience central sleep apnea. This scientific statement outlines the types, prevalence, and importance of sleep apnea for those who either have cardiovascular disease or are at risk of it.
What types of cardiovascular problems can I get with obstructive sleep apnea?
If you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you may have the following cardiovascular problems:
- If you have OSA, you may find it more difficult to control your high blood pressure, or you are more likely to have it in the first place.
- About 30 percent of people with hypertension have OSA. There is a 50 percent probability that if you have OSA, you have high blood pressure.
- OSA can lead to cardiac rhythm issues, including bradycardia (slow heart rate) and atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat). Atrial fibrillation is four times more common in people with severe OSA than in those without OSA.
- If you don't get treated for sleep apnea, managing your atrial fibrillation may become challenging. For example, people with untreated OSA are 25 percent more likely to experience a recurrence of atrial fibrillation after having their condition treated with catheter ablation (a special procedure done to the heart).
- Coronary artery disease is also more common in people with OSA. When the tiny blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen to your heart narrow, it results in coronary artery disease, also known as arterial hardening. Cardiac attacks and other heart problems can result from narrowed coronary arteries.
- You are two times as likely to get a heart attack in the future as someone who does not have severe OSA if it is left untreated.
- Additionally, studies report that up to 70 percent of individuals with coronary artery disease who were admitted to hospitals had OSA.
- OSA may exacerbate any existing heart problems you may have. Apart from that, untreated OSA can cause cardiac failure. Moreover, the probability of developing OSA if you’re having heart failure is common.
How does obstructive sleep apnea cause heart disease?
People with heart failure frequently have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea.
The pathogenesis is multifactorial including poor tissue oxygenation levels, longer circulation times, and stretched J receptors (special sensory cells) in the alveoli as a result of pulmonary congestion and through a direct effect on the brain centers controlling respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure.
- It is unclear exactly why people with OSA acquire heart disease. You have frequent breathing pauses brought on by OSA; these pauses result in real-time bouts of respiratory cessation.
- You may occasionally get nighttime awakenings from this, but you might not be conscious of them.
- The amount of oxygen in your blood decreases during these breathing pauses.
- The arteries supplying blood to the heart are harmed by the frequent decreases in low oxygen levels during sleep.
- Your body signals your heart to pump faster and your blood pressure to increase each time the oxygen level declines.
- Heart enlargement is another side effect of severe OSA stress on the heart.
- An enlarged heart does not pump as well, and the heart and body get even less oxygen.
Will treating obstructive sleep apnea treat heart disease?
Yes, treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can lessen or even eliminate emergent heart issues. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the most used method of treating OSA.
- The CPAP machine pumps air into a mask that is worn tightly over your nose or mouth through a hose.
- This air helps keep your airway from closing during sleep. This treats your sleep apnea, stops the drop in blood oxygen levels while you're asleep, and enables you to have a more restful night's sleep.
- Regularly using a CPAP machine as directed by your doctor while you sleep reduces the strain on your heart. Using a CPAP machine may help you manage your atrial fibrillation. A CPAP machine may help you manage your blood pressure if you have severe sleep apnea and hypertension.
- Over time, people can grow accustomed to using the CPAP machine. People who use a CPAP machine at night frequently express that it is the best sleep they have experienced in a long time.
- However, some individuals find it challenging to adjust to sleeping with a CPAP machine. If you are having trouble, consult a sleep specialist to ensure that you are using the proper nasal or full-face mask and setting.
- There are several compelling arguments in favor of attempting daily CPAP use. CPAP therapy can help you manage your sleep apnea symptoms and prevent or treat the cardiac issues that are frequently severe and life-limiting and are linked to sleep apnea.
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How Is Coronary Heart Disease Diagosed?Coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease (CAD) screening tests can be used to potentially prevent a heart attack or cardiac event in a person without heart disease symptoms, and can assist in diagnosing heart disease in individuals with heart disease symptoms. Coronary heart disease tests can include electrocardiogram (ECC, EKG), exercise stress test, radionuclide stress test, stress echocardiography, pharmacologic stress test, CT coronary angiogram, and coronary angiogram.
estazolamEstazolam is a medication used for short-term management of insomnia characterized by difficulty in falling asleep, frequent awakening in the night and/or waking up extremely early in the morning. Do not use estazolam in pregnant or breastfeeding women. Benzodiazepines, including estazolam have a high potential for abuse, misuse, and addiction. Common side effects of estazolam include drowsiness (somnolence), diminished body movement (hypokinesia), dizziness, abnormal coordination, nervousness, hangover, confusion, anxiety, depression, abnormal thinking, abnormal dreams, headache, weakness (asthenia), feeling unwell (malaise), lower extremity pain, and others.
Heart Disease: Warning Signs of Cardiovascular Disease
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to the heart. Heart disease can lead to heart attack. Risk factors for heart disease include:
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High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a disease in which pressure within the arteries of the body is elevated. About 75 million people in the US have hypertension (1 in 3 adults), and only half of them are able to manage it. Many people do not know that they have high blood pressure because it often has no has no warning signs or symptoms.
Systolic and diastolic are the two readings in which blood pressure is measured. The American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for high blood pressure in 2017. The guidelines now state that blood normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. If either one of those numbers is higher, you have high blood pressure.
The American Academy of Cardiology defines high blood pressure slightly differently. The AAC considers 130/80 mm Hg. or greater (either number) stage 1 hypertension. Stage 2 hypertension is considered 140/90 mm Hg. or greater.
If you have high blood pressure you are at risk of developing life threatening diseases like stroke and heart attack.
REFERENCE: CDC. High Blood Pressure. Updated: Nov 13, 2017.
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