Sleep apnea is associated with a variety of cardiovascular conditions and outcomes, but the strongest associations are with high blood pressure, arrhythmias (especially atrial fibrillation), and heart failure, reports Today’s Geriatric Medicine.

“When you have an individual with sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation who is either not treated or not effectively treated, when you try to restore the rhythm to normal, the likelihood of maintaining a normal rhythm is pretty low,” says Lee Surkin, MD, founder of the American Academy of Cardiovascular Sleep Medicine and one of few physicians board certified in both CVD and sleep medicine. However, “treating that patient with sleep apnea will give that patient the same statistical chance of maintaining a normal rhythm as if they didn’t have sleep apnea at all.”