People Who Snore Are ‘More Unhealthy’ Than Those Who Don’t

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Snoring is usually viewed as something incredibly annoying by people and their partners rather than a health problem, but research found those who do it could be at risk of serious health problems.

Instead of ignoring it might be a problem and being a complete night time nightmare, it might be worth getting it checked out afterall.

Researchers found people who snore regularly have ‘much higher risk’ of having thicker or abnormal carotid arteries, adding the risk is ‘greater for snorers than overweight people and smokers’.

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Researchers at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital investigated the possible effects of snoring on the cardiovascular system, and found snoring is ‘associated with a thickening of the inner walls of the carotid arteries’, writes Medical News Today

This thickening could be an early sign of ‘carotid artery disease’, which is a narrowing or blocking of the arteries and it increases the risk of having a stroke.

Researchers also found people who snore were more likely to suffer from this thickening than others with more widely known risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including smokers, people who are overweight, and those with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Lead study author Robert Deeb, M.D., said:

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.

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.

This is the first study to show evidence of an ‘increased risk to cardiovascular health from snoring’ according to The Huffington Post.

There is evidence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) being associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. OSA being a relatively common condition whereby the walls of the throat relax and narrow during sleep, in turn interrupting normal breathing.

OSA is also associated with a number of health problems, including diabetes, cancer and sexual dysfunction in men and women. Snoring is a frequent symptom of OSA, although just because you snore, doesn’t mean you have the condition.

Other research found people who snore are at greater risk of developing dementia later in life.

Scientists at Harvard University found sleep disorders, like OSA, are linked to ‘greater cognitive decline’, especially among those with a gene that predisposes them to Alzheimer’s, reports Evening Standard. 

People who suffer a sleep disorder and carry the apolipoprotein ε-4 (APOE-ε4) allele gene were found to have memory loss, and their ‘thinking function’ was said to be particularly poor.

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Around 20 per cent of the population are believed to be carrying the APOE-ε4 allele, while snoring is believed to affect up to 40 per cent, writes the Evening Standard.

The researchers found a sleep condition called increased overnight hypoxemia, whereby blood oxygen levels fall, as well as increased daytime sleepiness were associated with both poorer attention span and memory.

Susan Redline, professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School, said:

Our study provides further evidence that sleep-disordered breathing negatively affects attention, processing speed and memory, which are robust predictors of cognitive decline.

Given the lack of effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, our results support the potential for sleep-disordered breathing screening and treatment as part of a strategy to reduce dementia risk.

According to research, you’re at higher risk of being a habitual snorer if you are overweight, drink alcohol, take certain anti-depressants, smoke or have an allergy such as hayfever.

Get it checked out.