According to UPI, people with heart pacemakers and sleep apnea are at an increased risk for atrial fibrillation.

With sleep apnea, breathing stops or becomes critically shallow during sleep. It’s very common in people with pacemakers. The sleep disorder is a known risk factor for atrial fibrillation, but the risk for pacemaker patients with sleep apnea was unclear, the study authors said.

“In recent years, pacemakers have increasingly become equipped with sleep apnea-monitoring measures, and in using these tools, we were able to identify how pacemaker patients with sleep apnea are at risk for developing atrial fibrillation,” said Dr. Andrea Mazza, from Santa Maria della Stella Hospital in Orvieto, Italy.

“Our results are the first to show that patients with pacemakers and sleep apnea are at a higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation,” Mazza said.

However, the findings did not prove the combination caused an irregular heartbeat.

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