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Heart risks from sleep apnoea similar to those from diabetes study

Margaret Jack  By Margaret Jack   |   Posted in Sleep Research   |   Last updated: Wednesday 26th December 2012

A new study has found that the early heart damage seen in diabetes sufferers is also seen in people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – a sleep condition where a person stops breathing during sleep.

The study conducted by Romanian researchers consisted of 20 people without diabetes, who had moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, as well as 20 people with diabetes and 20 people who were healthy. A series of tests were performed on them to see how well their arteries were able to function with a series of tests.

The researchers found that participants with diabetes and OSA had stiff arteries – a common issue for diabetes sufferers. The healthy participant's arteries were found to be less stiff which enables more blood to flow to the heart and to the body's tissues.

This is not the first study to have found a link between sleep apnoea and negative arterial effects. A study by Baylor College of Medicine conducted a study on mice and the research found that sleep apnoea could impact the ability of the brain's blood vessels to function, which could potentially increase the risk of a stroke.

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