Take home message: Sleep Apnea stresses the heart and vessels because of the repetitive periods of low oxygen that occur dozens of times each night when the patient has apnea (stops breathing). Recognition, diagnosis (with a sleep study) & treatment for this problem are very important for cardiovascular health. This meta-analysis syas there is a doubling of stroke risk in men.
The relationship between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and cardiovascular events remains unclear. Review to determine the incidence of cardiovascular events among patients with OSA showed associated with stroke in a meta-analysis of 5 studies (8435 participants), odds ratio (OR) 2.24; A significant association was seen in studies of men predominantly; OR, 2.87; 95% CI, 1.91–4.31, Data on women were sparse. In the overall analysis of 6 studies (8785 participants), OSA was nonsignificantly associated with ischemic heart disease (OR =1.56)