A small study suggests that even a single night of sleep apnea symptoms could result in cardiovascular problems, reports Knowledge Science Report.
“After just six hours of fluctuating oxygen levels, similar to what happens with sleep apnea, the body’s ability to regulate blood pressure is impaired.
“These changes occurred almost immediately in healthy young adults who were not experiencing the cumulative effects years of sleep apnea could bring about.”
As part of his study, Foster examined the impact of intermittent hypoxia on the cardiovascular system in 10 healthy young adults.
Study participants wore a ventilating mask for six hours and oxygen levels were altered to mimic sleep apnea symptoms.
The study found that sleep apnea compromised the function of a person’s baroreceptors — biological sensors that regulate blood pressure.
It also found damaging blood flow patterns in the legs, which over time could impact vascular health.
“These findings suggest that interventions for people suffering sleep apnea should occur as soon as the condition is diagnosed,” adds Foster.
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