Cardiology Advisor spoke with a cardiologist and a sleep medicine specialist, both from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Cardiology Advisor: What is known about the link between sleep apnea and CVD, including proposed underlying mechanisms?
Dr Martin: Epidemiological studies have linked sleep apnea with a host of bad cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes, ranging from coronary heart disease to stroke to heart failure to AF. The underlying cardiometabolic mechanisms include increased sympathetic nervous system activity, inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and abnormal metabolism of insulin, leptin, and lipoproteins.
Dr Salas: The [evidence for a] relationship between sleep apnea and heart disease is getting stronger. CVD such as high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke are more common in patients with sleep apnea. It remains unclear whether sleep apnea causes heart disease (the chicken or the egg phenomena).
If the world of medicine would finally realize that any sleep/breathing disorder involves excessive amounts of STRESS Hormones, Fight or Flight response, which then results in the stress responses through out the body producing excessive inflammation in every cell. Having treated patients for 15 years with a TMJ balanced oral appliance by symptoms with over 95% success, it is obvious this problem is all about stress hormones. More than 50% of patients I treat do not have sleep apnea, no oxygen problem, but all clench or grind their teeth, and many have TMJ.headache or migraine problems, and no desaturation of oxygen. These problems start in childhood and get worse every year of life without being noticed, only the symptoms are being treated with medication.The egg di come first and was hatched at birth. Dr Ron Perkins