Sleep apnea can be deadly

Sometimes, while lying awake at night, I will notice my wife momentarily stop breathing. This is known as sleep-disordered breathing or sleep apnea. Sleep apnea not only causes one to sleep poorly, it can result in death.

The Wisconsin Sleep Cohort study

Researchers followed 1522 generally healthy men and women for an average of 13.8 years after testing them for sleep-disordered breathing using a standard overnight sleep test.

Participants with severe sleep-disordered breathing were three times more likely to die during the study than those without breathing problems during sleep. Those who were not treated were at even greater risk. Participants with untreated severe sleep-disordered breathing were four times more likely to die from any cause and five times more likely to die from cardiovascular conditions. Science Daily

Do you have sleep apnea?

An estimated 12-18 million Americans have moderate to severe sleep-disordered breathing. How can you know if you have it? Complaints of snoring from bed partners, excessive daytime sleepiness, and morning headache are warning signs.

A friend of mine's girlfriend had a heart attack last week. I asked him if she had sleep apnea. She did. She also was not using the device that was supposed to keep her breathing at night.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Kenny's picture
Kenny says:

For more information about obstructed sleep apnea and a less invasive treatment options just visit

posted on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 8:53am
polargirl14's picture
polargirl14 says:

i dont think this is good news to most ppl

posted on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 11:04am
Linda's picture
Linda says:

I live in rural Iowa, not exactly a mecca for advanced medecine. Nevertheless, my P.A. recommended me to have a sleep study when I had a fainting spell and daytime headaches. I have never told him this, but I also have had progressively severe memory problems for years to the point I thought I was developing Altzheimers at the tender age of 42. I noticed my memory problems were affecting my job as an MRI technologist and I quit that line of work completely for fear of causing harm to a patient, due to my blackouts and short term memory problems! I can hardly function day to day. I thought he was way off base with the sleep study. I was sure I was having TIAs or mini-strokes and would have preferred a CT study of the brain! The sleep study came back positive for severe sleep apnea. Go figure! And I am anxious to be fitted for my CPAP, before I kill any more of the precious brain cells that I have left or do any more damage to my heart. Reading about sleep apnea has alerted me to the dangers, and I will be forever grateful to Harold Vanscoy, P.A., for every day that I have going forward - more clinicians should be aware of the symptomology of this disorder.

posted on Fri, 08/15/2008 - 8:10pm

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <h3> <h4> <em> <i> <strong> <b> <span> <ul> <ol> <li> <blockquote> <object> <embed> <param> <sub> <sup>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may embed videos from the following providers vimeo, youtube. Just add the video URL to your textarea in the place where you would like the video to appear, i.e.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Images can be added to this post.

More information about formatting options