If I snore, am I at greater risk of heart attack or stroke?

Snoring may be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea have irregular breathing patterns while they sleep, which causes low oxygen levels. This is known to cause high blood pressure. High blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. However, not all snoring is caused by sleep apnea.

Do you snore loudly when you sleep? If so, you could have sleep apnea, a common and serious sleep disorder that affects many people with cardiovascular disease. Sleep apnea is a series of pauses in breathing during sleep due to temporary airway obstruction, which taxes your cardiovascular system.

It is important to note that snoring is not always related to sleep apnea and can be harmless. However, if you snore, you may wish to be checked by your doctor for sleep apnea, especially if you already have cardiovascular disease. Sleep apnea has been linked in research studies to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Your physician can help you rule out sleep apnea if you don’t have it and can begin treatment if you do.

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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.