Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of stroke in middle-aged and older adults, especially men, according to new results from a landmark study supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Researchers from the Sleep Heart Health Study (SHHS) report that the risk of stroke appears in men with mild sleep apnea and rises with the severity of sleep apnea. Men with moderate to severe sleep apnea were nearly three times more likely to have a stroke than men without sleep apnea or with mild sleep apnea. They also report for the first time a link between sleep apnea and increased risk of stroke in women.
"Obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea and incident stroke: The Sleep Heart Health Study," was published online March 25 ahead of print in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Read the full news release from the NHLBI.