What are the health risks of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Problems or medical complications associated with untreated sleep apnea may include:

  • Systemic hypertension - high blood pressure which causes an increased risk of heart disease, strokes, kidney failure, and poor circulation
  • Left heart failure - inability of the heart to pump the blood adequately causing shortness of breath, fatigue, and poor ability to exercise
  • Pulmonary hypertension - elevated blood pressure in the lungs, associated with shortness of breath, chest pain, and increased mortality
  • Arrhythmias - irregularity of the heart rate
  • Ischemic heart disease - angina pectoris (chest pain) and heart attacks (myocardial infarction) caused by an insufficient supply of blood to the heart
  • Stroke - damage to the brain caused by blockage of blood flow or bleeding
  • increased mortality
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS)
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Can obstructive sleep apnea cause stroke?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
Stroke is typically not associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, people with untreate...
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Can I take a sleep aid or sleeping pills if I have obstructive sleep apnea?
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You can take a sleep aid if you have obstructive sleep apnea, but it's not usually recommended.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.