Snoring Puts You at Greater Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases

First Posted: Jan 29, 2013 06:29 AM EST

Snoring has often been linked with sleep apnea. But little do we realize that this irritation is actually also a warning.

A latest study conducted by researchers at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit states that snoring puts a person at a higher risk of developing abnormalities in the carotid artery.

"Our study adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that isolated snoring may not be as benign as first suspected. So instead of kicking your snoring bed partner out of the room or spending sleepless nights elbowing him or her, seek out medical treatment for the snorer," lead study author  Dr. Robert Deeb, with the department of otolaryngology-head & neck surgery at Henry Ford said in a press statement.

Snoring thickens the lining of the two large blood vessels that supply the brain with oxygenated blood, this is known as atherosclerosis. The study also reveals that the trauma and inflammation caused by vibrations of snores trigger changes in the carotid artery.

Prior to this, cardiovascular disease has long been associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), but according to this new study, risk of cardiovascular diseases triggers with onset of snoring, much before OSA.

In order to prove the hypothesis, data of 913 patients evaluated by the Henry Ford Hospital's sleep center was reviewed. The patients had taken part in a diagnostic sleep study from December 2006 to January 2012. None of the participants had a record of sleep apnea.

Among them, 54 patients completed a snore outcome survey that asked for details of their snoring habits. They  also underwent a carotid artery duplex ultrasound that measured the intima-media thickness of the carotid arteries as intima-media thickness is the first sign of carotid artery disease.

The researchers noted that snores had a greater intima-media thickness when compared to the non snorers.

Study results will be presented Friday at the 2013 Combined Sections Meeting of the Triological Society in Scottsdale, Ariz. and will be published in the journal, The Laryngoscope.

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