Don’t ig­nore the snore: Snor­ing may be early sign of fu­ture health risks

Palawan Daily News - - Health -

Here’s a wake-up call for snor­ers: Snor­ing may put you at a greater risk than those who are over­weight, smoke or have high choles­terol to have thick­en­ing or ab­nor­mal­i­ties in the carotid artery, ac­cord­ing to re­searchers at Henry Ford Hos­pi­tal in Detroit.

The in­creased thick­en­ing in the lin­ing of the two large blood ves­sels that sup­ply the brain with oxy­genated blood is a pre­cur­sor to ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis, a hard­en­ing of the ar­ter­ies re­spon­si­ble for many vas­cu­lar dis­eases.

“Snor­ing is more than a bed­time an­noy­ance and it shouldn’t be ig­nored. Pa­tients need to seek treat­ment in the same way they would if they had sleep ap­nea, high blood pres­sure or other risk fac­tors for car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease,” says lead study au­thor Robert Deeb, M.D., with the Depart­ment of Oto­laryn­gol­ogy-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford.

“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.”

The study re­veals changes in the carotid artery with snor­ers -- even for those with­out sleep ap­nea -likely due to the trauma and sub­se­quent in­flam­ma­tion caused by the vi­bra­tions of snor­ing.

Study re­sults will be pre­sented Jan­uary 25 at the 2013 Com­bined Sec­tions Meet­ing of the Tri­o­log­i­cal So­ci­ety in Scotts­dale, Ariz. It has been sub­mit­ted to The Laryn­go­scope jour­nal for pub­li­ca­tion.

Ob­struc­tive sleep ap­nea (OSA) -- a sleep dis­or­der that oc­curs due to the col­lapse of the air­way in the throat dur­ing sleep and causes loud snor­ing and pe­ri­odic pauses in breath­ing -- has long been linked to car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, along with a host of other se­ri­ous health is­sues.

But the risk for car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease may ac­tu­ally be­gin with snor­ing, long be­fore it be­comes OSA. Un­til now, there was lit­tle ev­i­dence in hu­mans to show a sim­i­lar con­nec­tion be­tween snor­ing and car­dio­vas­cu­lar risk.

For the Henry Ford study, Dr. Deeb and se­nior study au­thor Kath­leen Yarem­chuk, M.D., re­viewed data for 913 pa­tients who had been eval­u­ated by the in­sti­tu­tion’s sleep cen­ter.

Pa­tients, ages 18-50, who had par­tic­i­pated in a di­ag­nos­tic sleep study be­tween De­cem­ber 2006 and Jan­uary 2012 were in­cluded in the study. None of the par­tic­i­pants had sleep ap­nea.

In all, 54 pa­tients com­pleted the snore out­comes sur­vey re­gard­ing their snor­ing habits, as well as un­der­went a carotid artery du­plex ul­tra­sound to mea­sure the in­tima-me­dia thick­ness of the carotid ar­ter­ies.

Carotid in­tima-me­dia thick­ness, a mea­sure­ment of the thick­ness of the in­ner­most two lay­ers of the ar­te­rial wall, may be used to de­tect the pres­ence and to track the pro­gres­sion of atheroscle­rotic dis­ease. In­tima-me­dia thick­ness is the first sign of carotid artery dis­ease.

Com­pared to non-snor­ers, snor­ers were found to have a sig­nif­i­cantly greater in­ti­ma­me­dia thick­ness of the carotid ar­ter­ies, the study finds.

The study also re­vealed no sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences in in­tima-me­dia thick­ness for pa­tients with or with­out some of the tra­di­tional risk fac­tors for car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease -- smok­ing, di­a­betes, hyper­ten­sion or hy­per­c­holes­terolemia.

“Snor­ing is gen­er­ally re­garded as a cos­metic is­sue by health in­sur­ance, re­quir­ing sig­nif­i­cant out-of-pocket ex­penses by pa­tients. We’re hop­ing to change that think­ing so pa­tients can get the early treat­ment they need, be­fore more se­ri­ous health is­sues arise.”

The Henry Ford re­search team plans to con­duct an­other long-term study on this topic, par­tic­u­larly to de­ter­mine if there’s an in­creased in­ci­dence of car­dio­vas­cu­lar events in pa­tients who snore.

Along with Drs. Deeb and Yarem­chuk, Henry Ford study co-au­thors are Paul Judge, M.D.; Ed Peter­son, Ph.D.; and Ju­dith C. Lin, M.D.

Story Source:

Ma­te­ri­als pro­vided by Henry Ford Health Sys­tem. Note: Con­tent may be edited for style and length.

Credit: © Tracy King / Fo­to­lia

Here’s a wake-up call for snor­ers: Snor­ing may put you at a greater risk than those who are over­weight, smoke or have high choles­terol to have thick­en­ing or ab­nor­mal­i­ties in the carotid artery, ac­cord­ing to new re­search.

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