Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease

 

Though typically characterized by agonizingly loud snoring, Sleep Apnea can do more damage to you than to your partner’s ears…

 

Sleep Apnea is charercterized by intervals of abrupted breathing during the normal sleep cycle. These abrupted breathing patterns result in cycles of low oxygenation within the body. A recent study headed by Dr. Sanja Jelic from Columbia University Medical Center found a startling discovery while testing the physiological correlation between Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease. Initially, Dr. Jelic found that the body’s low oxygen state (hypoxic state) caused an anti-inflammatory peptide normally found on the surface of endothelial cells to become internalized, warranting the peptide ineffective. The lack of surface peptides lead to a build-up of inflammatory proteins over time, and ultimately vascular injury and heart disease in the future. However, one of the most surprising findings from this study was that subjects that had sleep apnea and did not experience a decrease in surface endothelial cell peptides were actually on Statin drugs to reduce their cholesterol levels. From this they inferred that cholesterol actually promotes the endothelial cell internalization of anti-inflammatory peptides. This amazing find could potentially dramatically reduce the occurrence of heart disease in people with Sleep Apnea!

 

Article on Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease

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