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Medical News & Perspectives
June 25, 2008

Sleep Apnea Linked to Cardiovascular Risks

JAMA. 2008;299(24):2841. doi:10.1001/jama.299.24.2841

Toronto—If viewed through the lens of its most common complaints—loud snoring, disrupted sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness—obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may seem to be more of an annoyance rather than a condition with potentially serious health effects. But the condition imposes considerable risks of developing cardiovascular abnormalities because of the repetitive cycles of snoring, airway collapse, and awakening. One reason for this increased risk is that low blood oxygen levels during these cycles induces harmful responses, such as hypertension, in the vasculature.