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"Is my snoring going to cause a heart attack?"
I am a healthy and active 45 year old woman. I snore embarrassingly loud with nightly regularity. It is annoying to anyone around me. However, a bigger concern for both my husband and myself is that we have heard that snoring like this can cause heart problems, even a heart attack. I also heard that snoring causes issues with obesity and high blood pressure. At the very least, I am tired of feeling I haven't gained any rest during the night, even after as many as 10 hours in bed. But, should I be worried more about my heart and my snoring's affect on it? Is it possible to have a heart attack from snoring? If a heart attack can result, what should I do to stop my snoring and get better sleep?
Although the short answer is that your snoring itself will not cause a heart attack, it is important to discuss this with your doctor. As with all things, there is more to the story. Snoring in and of itself can be associated with sleep that is less restorative, and is associated with sleep apnea, which is known to be strongly associated with some of the things you suggest. More importantly, it is true that snorers tend to be more overweight than those who do not snore. When you add in poor sleep with people who are likely to be at increased risk for heart attacks anyway, it makes for a very muddy picture, but one that seems to indicate that those who snore are at an increased risk of heart attacks. There is quite a bit of research about this, but it is difficult to find a doctor who will say that your snoring is going to cause a heart attack. That being said, it may indicate that you have an elevated risk relative to another person of your similar age and health that does not snore. Fortunately, there are things that can be done, and some additional testing may help to indicate your specific level of risk. Please speak with your doctor.
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