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- An estimated 20 million Americans suffer from sleep disturbed breathing.
- An estimated 38,000 Americans die every year from heart complications of apnea, says a 1994 report to Congress by the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research.
- Deprived of a good night's sleep, apnea sufferers wake feeling tired, moody, and depressed. They frequently fall asleep during the day.
- A link between OSA and stroke has been determined. The risk for stroke in patients with OSA appears to be three times as likely as in those patients without OSA. Recent studies on patients who have had strokes show a very high prevalence of OSA. Intermittent episodes of atrial fibrillation are risk factors for stoke.
- A number of recent studies show a link between sleep apnea and congestive heart failure. Sleep apnea can place additional strain on the heart muscle leading to conditions such as CHF.
- Studies show that more than 50% of the 4.9 million Americans who suffer from CHF also have sleep disturbed breathing.
- Diagnosing and treating sleep apnea is an essential component of delivering the best care to all patients; especially those with heart disease.
- Coronary Artery Disease - Patients with coronary artery disease and OSA have a two to three times increased risk of heart attack. Partially blocked arteries reduce blood flow to the myocardium and during OSA episodes, there is a further reduction in the oxygen supply to the heart muscle.
- Irregular Heart Rhythms/Sudden Death - There is a high incidence of cardiac arrhythmias in patients with OSA. Tachyarrhythmia and profound bradyarrhythmia can cause sudden death during sleep.