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Study: Sleep Apnea Linked to Increased Stroke Risk in Women and Men

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A new study presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society reveals that the stroke risk for women with sleep apnea is just as strong as it is for men.

According to HealthDay, this link between sleep apnea and stroke in women had been previously underestimated, as both sleep apnea and stroke are more common among men.

Researchers found that the five-year probability of having a stroke in cases of severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) was 1.2% for women and 1.8% for men, reports MedPage Today. The 10-year probability was 2.3% for women and 3.1% for men.

"There are lots of studies that have shown that sleep apnea is bad for your risk of stroke. But the majority of strokes happen in men, so it as difficult to show the difference between men and women,” said press conference moderator Dr. David Rapoport of the NYU Langone Medical Center, as noted by MedPage Today. “One conclusion was that women were protected but what this study adds is that there was no protection, just statistical difficulty proving it until this analysis that they have done.”

This study serves as a reminder that whether you’re male or female, it’s important to do whatever it takes to treat your sleep apnea, as failure to do so can lead to potentially serious health complications.

Statistics show that up to 80% of people who have sleep apnea are undiagnosed, meaning they’re not receiving proper treatment for this disorder. Take a simple online test today to find out if you may be one of them.

photo credit: Summer Skyes 11 via photopin cc