Women who snore are at a greater risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke than men
Some of the common symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring, labored breathing, gasping for air and daytime tiredness. Around 22 million people in the US are known to suffer this.
Research suggests that women who snore while they sleep have a larger risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke than men. Scans revealed that women who suffer from sleep apnea have much thicker heart walls than men. According to the DailyMail, thicker heart walls can stiffen the muscle which in return will make it hard for it to pump blood around the body. And if its get hard, it reduces the amount of oxygen that is sent to one's brain and muscles. Researchers are yet to figure out why sleep apnea affects a person's heart. They also hope to perform bigger research in the future to come to a conclusion.
Munich University Hospital researchers analyzed 4,481 people who had undergone a heart MRI scan from the UK Biobank. They were divided into three groups. 118 who were diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), 1,886 who claimed to snore and 2,477 with neither. In an interview with DailyMail, lead author Dr Adrian Curta revealed, "Our analysis showed that in both genders of the OSA and snoring groups there was an increase in left ventricular mass." Explaining what that means he said, "The walls of the heart's main pumping chamber are enlarged, making the heart work harder." When the researchers compared the people who slept peacefully to the ones who snore, they discovered that those women had a larger left ventricular mass than the men.
"We found that the cardiac parameters in women appear to be more easily affected by the disease," Curta added. "I would encourage people who snore to ask their partner to observe them and look for phases during sleep when they stop breathing for a short while and then gasp for air. If unsure, they can spend the night at a sleep lab where breathing is constantly monitored during sleep and even slight alterations can be recorded," he continued.
Obstructive sleep apnea happens when the muscles in one's throat relax and narrow during sleep which in results in interrupting one's breathing. Some of the common symptoms are loud snoring, labored breathing, gasping for air and daytime tiredness. OSA seems to affect 10% of the people in the UK and in the US around 22 million people. The treatment for OSA depends on the patients' cause. Weight loss might help overweight people, reducing alcohol content, sleeping on one's side can also help. There are surgeries and special machinery which also help to keep the upper airway open at night when one sleeps.