Harvard Heart Letter

How sleep apnea affects the heart

Sleep apnea, a condition that causes breathing to stop dozens or hundreds of times every night, contributes to poor cardiovascular health by causing the body to release adrenaline. When this happens night after night, adrenaline levels remain high, and blood pressure rises. Untreated sleep apnea may raise the risk of dying from heart disease up to five times. Depending on the underlying cause, there are several effective treatments for sleep apnea.
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