New research is strengthening the link between sleep apnea and stroke-related injuries. People who have had their brainstems affected by a stroke are more likely to develop sleep apnea, compared to those who have a stroke which affected another area of the brain.
The study included 355 ischemic stroke patients, average age 65, of which 55% were men. The participants were chosen from their enrollment in the Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi Project. They had been screened for sleep apnea 13 days after their stroke and given a portable respiratory monitor. CT and MRIs were also used to determine if their brainstems were affected by their stroke.
11% of the stroke patients were discovered to have had their brainstem affected, with 84% of those patients having sleep apnea. Among the patients who experienced no brainstem involvement during their stroke, 59% had sleep apnea.
More research is being conducted to better understand the relationship between sleep apnea and stroke. In the future, more patients may be screened for sleep apnea.
If you suspect that you have sleep apnea it is important to speak with a licensed physician today. Previous studies indicate that sleep apnea increases the risk of stroke, diabetes, cancer and early death. Sleep better while protecting your health with recommended treatment from your doctor, that’s definitely a win!