Studies have shown that there is strong evidence for a link between Sleep Apnea and Hypertension. Your Snoring could be putting a great strain on your cardiovascular system.
The prevalence of Snoring and Sleep Apnea among individuals with High Blood Pressure is close to 40% and jumps to over 80% among individuals with Drug-Resistant Hypertension (requiring two or more anti-hypertensive medications).
Researchers have shown a strong relationship between the severity of Sleep Apnea and the incidence of new hypertension that cannot be explained by other risk factors, such as age, gender, or Body Mass Index (BMI). This indicates that individuals with a history of habitual snoring with frequent pauses in their breathing, and waking up gasping for air throughout the night, are at a significantly greater risk of developing hypertension.
Does My Snoring Lead to Hypertension?
Although the relationship is complex and not fully understood, a possible explanation may be related to the frequent drops in blood oxygen supply, or hypoxia, that accompanies Sleep Apnea. Researchers have suggested that the intermittent hypoxia may cause the body to promote constriction of the blood vessels (or vasoconstriction), which can lead to higher blood pressure. In addition, studies have also shown that people with Sleep Apnea are prone to gain weight. Obesity and Sleep Apnea together will further increase the risk for hypertension.
Can Treating Sleep Apnea Lower My Blood Pressure?
There are numerous treatments for Snoring and Sleep Apnea readily available from accredited sleep medicine programs. Therapeutic options include Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT), weight loss, and other specific treatments.
Studies have shown that by effectively treating Snoring and Sleep Apnea with CPAP, systolic and diastolic pressure will also improve. This is especially true for Drug-Resistant Hypertension.