Sleep Apnea May Trigger Nighttime Heart Attacks
Last updated:July 28, 2008
Does your parent breathe easy at night? New research suggests a possible link between nighttime heart attacks and the breathing disorder sleep apnea .
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic studied the breathing patterns of 92 people admitted to the hospital after heart attacks. "For those who had heart attacks at night, the vast majority had undiagnosed sleep apnea," said cardiologist Virend Somers, the study's lead author. "So, perhaps sleep apnea is acting as a trigger for nighttime heart attacks."
How can you tell if someone has sleep apnea? The most common sign is loud snoring , often interrupted by pauses followed by choking or gasping. Some other signs of sleep apnea include:
- Morning headaches
- Memory or learning problems and not being able to concentrate
- Feeling irritable, depressed, or having mood swings or personality changes
- Urination at night
- A dry throat when you wake up
If you think your parent might have sleep apnea, talk to his regular doctor. The good news is that sleep apnea can be treated , which, along with possibly reducing heart attack risk, may make your parent feel a whole lot better.
Image by Flickr user lewis chaplin used under the Creative Commons attribution license.
- Know Thy Father: A Guide to Dad's Day
- Don't Wait for a Doctor's Visit to Test for High Blood Pressure
- 8 Spring Pick-Me-Ups for Tired Caregivers
- 10 Feel-Good Dementia Caregiver New Year Resolutions
- How to Say Thank You to a Caregiver This Thanksgiving
- Mom Far Away? Cool Gift Ideas, and Yes, There's Still Time!
- The Junk Wars: 8 Ways to Get Rid of Aging Parents' "Stuff" (and Your Resentment Over Having to Deal With It)
- World Alzheimer's Day and Why People With Alzheimer's Need It
- Secret Cure for Deadly Stress: Taking the Team Approach
- Prescription Medications Cost Too Much? Here's What to Do