Obstructive Sleep Apnea Patients at Risk of Developing Irregular Heartbeat

A new study has found that people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may be at a greater risk of developing an irregular heartbeat, a condition known as atrial fibrillation. Dr. Tetyana Kendzerska, Ph.D., of the University of Ottawa in Canada, was the lead author in this study, and conducted her research with many colleagues by analyzing medical records of more than 8,000 people. Kendzerska and her team presented their findings earlier this month at the American Thoracic Society Conference 2017 in Washington, D.C.

Studies in the past have shown that obstructive sleep apnea patients are more likely to have high blood pressure, which puts them at a greater risk of developing heart disease and cardiovascular conditions. The study conducted by Dr. Kendzerska, however, has found that patients with OSA run a higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation, independent of high blood pressure risks. Atrial fibrillation, commonly referred to as A-fib, is characterized by an irregular, typically rapid heartbeat. A-fib increase a person’s risk of heart failure, stroke, and many other complications.

While Dr. Kendzerska and her research team were unable to provide a description of the exact mechanisms that create the link between OSA and the increased risk of atrial fibrillation, their study still provides OSA patients with very important information. More than 22 million people in the United States struggle with sleep apnea, with the majority affected by obstructive sleep apnea. OSA is a condition in which a partial or complete blockage in the upper airway causes a person’s breathing to pause during sleep. Kendzerska’s study has given a clear warning to the millions of people affected by OSA about their heightened risk of developing an irregular heartbeat, and the dangers that come along with the condition.

If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, or think you may be experiencing symptoms of the condition, do not hesitate to contact the practitioners at Silent Night Therapy. OSA can lead to many other health conditions, including an irregular heartbeat, so it wise to have a professional examine your symptoms and provide you with the proper treatment. Our team is prepared to help you conquer your sleep apnea. Contact our offices today by calling (631) 983-2463.