June 24, 2013 – A new study reveals that sleep apnea has been identified as the latest risk factor in sudden cardiac death.

The study found that 142 adult patients who had obstructive sleep apnea fell victim to sudden cardiac arrest. In some of these cases, the victims could be resuscitated, while others died as a result of the sudden cardiac arrest.

Predictors of sudden cardiac arrest include age, severity of sleep apnea, and oxygen saturation levels. Each of these impacted a person’s risk for vascular disease. Other recent studies have determined that sudden cardiac death is unrelated to what many view as traditional risk factors for cardiovascular malfunction. The known risk factors for sudden cardiac death revealed by the recent study also include hypertension, cardiomyopathy, and low nocturnal oxygen saturation.

The study followed 10,701 adults. The average age of the test group was 53 years old with an average BMI of 34. The majority of the subjects were men. Each person was suspected of having obstructive sleep apnea and each participant had their sleep study performed between 1987 and 2003.

Sleep apnea in Florida and across the United States is a prevalent sleep disorder. The number of cases is expected to continue to grow as the obesity epidemic continues to grow. Obesity and sleep apnea are closely related.

Researchers plan to continue studying what causes sudden cardiac death. In particular their focus will be on the risk factors of people impacted by and treated for obstructive sleep apnea.

For anyone in Florida concerned that they may have obstructive sleep apnea, it is critical to visit a sleep apnea dentist to receive necessary treatment. Contact Elite Smiles today at 904.201.4304 to ensure that apnea does not damage your overall health.