We know that sleep apnea puts people at increased risk of heart failure, but it’s important to know that the risks of sleep apnea continue even after you have a heart attack. In fact, the impact of sleep apnea might be even more significant after you experience heart failure than it was before.
Sleep Apnea and Revolving-Door Admissions for Heart Failure
One of the risks of heart failure is that after being released from the hospital, heart failure patients often find their way back in. Around a quarter of patients who are released from the hospital after heart failure treatment are readmitted within 30 days.
One study shows that might be due to sleep apnea. This study looked at heart failure patients about to be released after heart failure treatment and found that 78% of them had sleep disordered breathing, an inclusive term for snoring and sleep apnea.
They then prescribed these patients CPAP treatment and found that none of the people who used their CPAP regularly were readmitted in the 30 day period, compared to about 30% for people who either didn’t use CPAP or used it only intermittently.
Newly Diagnosed Sleep Apnea
Unfortunately, for many people, heart failure is the first sign they get that they’re suffering from sleep apnea. In a study of more than 1100 patients with heart failure, 78% of them had sleep apnea, and none of them knew it.
They followed these patients and found that those with sleep apnea were more than 50% more likely to die than those without sleep apnea.
This second study didn’t look at the impact of treatment on survival rates, but if it did, it’s likely that it would tell a similar story to the previous study: sleep apnea treatment saves lives.
Treatment You Will Use
Another thing this research tells us is that sleep apnea treatment only helps if you use it. People who are prescribed CPAP and don’t use it are likely to continue suffering the devastating effects of interrupted breathing, including the strain it puts on the heart.
If you’ve been prescribed CPAP but just can’t use it, we have a more comfortable sleep apnea treatment. Please call (619) 299-5925 for an appointment with a San Diego sleep dentist at Strober Dental today.