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Have People Died From Sleep Apnea

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Sleep Needs By Age Group:

Can You Die From Sleep Apnea?

Adult: 7 9 hours

Child 6 12 years: 9- 12 hours

Child 3 5 years: 10 13 hours

Child 1 2 years: 11 14 hours

Infants 4 -12 months: 12 16 hours


Institute of Medicine. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press 2006.

If You Suspect Sleep Apnea

Think you may have sleep apnea? Its important to have it checked. Sleep apnea can lead to other heart health problems and impaired performance on the job or at school. Your doctor may suggest a sleep evaluation.

Not only will getting treated for sleep apnea reduce your risk of a dangerous cardiac event, says Dr. Wilkoff. It will make you sleep better, and feel better, all around.

Seriously Can You Die From Sleep Apnea

August 24, 2020// by Terry Cralle//

Public discussion about sleep-apnea caused death has almost been non-existent for a long time. People are also rarely aware of sleep apnea as a condition. However, recent cases of people dying from sleep apnea have stirred up what we know about this condition.

So, can you die from sleep apnea?

Well, the short answer is: yes, you can die from sleep apnea. But, things are more complicated than that. In the following paragraphs, were going to take a look at how exactly can sleep apnea lead to death.

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Worrying Signs Where You Need To Act Quickly

Mild and moderate sleep apnea causes changes in your body that trigger a signal for an immediate action. These changes are:

  • excessive daytime sleepiness,
  • coronary artery disease,
  • pulmonary hypertension.

In a Multi Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, 208 patients were diagnosed with Obstructive apnea and 1452 were only snorers. After almost 7 years, the results were staggering: 189 deaths occured.

95% from these deaths were from cardiovascular problems howevere there were cases of stroke deaths, resuscitation from cardiac arrest and angina. Compared to snorers, over 90% of deaths were associated to the group of patients with OSA.

Myth : Sleep Apnea Isnt Fatal

Can Patients Really Die From Sleep Apnea?

Unfortunatelythis just isnt true. Multiple studies have confirmed that people suffering from sleep apnea have a much greater mortality than healthy sleepers. For instance, one study1 investigated the survival rate of 385 male sleep apnea patients over an 8-year period. They found that men with severe sleep apnea were 33% more likely to pass away during the study period than their counterparts with only mild or moderate sleep apnea .

Another study2 examined the mortality of a population of over 1500 people over a period spanning almost two decades. They found that people with sleep apnea were a whopping 3 times more likely to die during the study period than people without sleep apnea.

When you consider the negative health consequences of sleep apnea, its not hard to understand these shocking statistics. Sleep apnea materially increases your blood pressure and your risk for conditions like heart disease, stroke, dementia, and diabetes. That doesnt even mention the increased risk of car accidents and the negative consequences of being sleep deprived day after day.

Sleep apnea is a grave health condition that puts a huge amount of strain on all parts of your body. It certainly causes deterioration of your health and concentration, and if left untreated, it can absolutely lead to death.

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Can Sleep Apnea Kill You Here Are The Results From A Recent Study

Jill Zwarensteyn Disclaimer – Nothing on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment… Read more here

Sleep Apnea is a disorder in which you repeatedly stop breathing while asleep.

There are two primary types: Obstructive and Central . However, some people may experience both forms, and this is categorized as Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome.

While some symptoms of this sleep disorder, like snoring, may come across as a mere nuisance, this condition can be more severe than you realize.

Well answer whether you can die from sleep apnea, the important symptoms and treatments you should know about, and other relevant health questions relating to this topic.

Study Shows That People With Sleep Apnea Have A High Risk Of Death

WESTCHESTER, Ill. A study in the August 1 issue of the journal Sleep shows that people with severe sleep apnea have a much higher mortality risk than people without sleep apnea, and this risk of death increases when sleep apnea is untreated.

Results show that people who have severe sleep apnea, which involves frequent breathing pauses during sleep, have three times the risk of dying due to any cause compared with people who do not have sleep apnea. This sleep apnea risk is represented by an adjusted hazard ratio of 3.2 after controlling for age, sex and body mass index. When 126 participants who reported regular use of continuous positive airway pressure therapy were removed from the statistical analysis, the hazard ratio for all-cause mortality related to severe sleep apnea rose to 4.3.

We found that both men and women with sleep apnea in the general population not patients mostly undiagnosed and untreated, had poorer survival compared with persons without sleep apnea, given equal BMI, age and sex, said principal investigator and lead author Terry Young, PhD, professor of epidemiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

According to Young, most previous studies of sleep apnea and mortality have involved patients referred for a clinical sleep diagnostic evaluation the mortality risk for sleep apnea in the general population has not been previously reported.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

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Why It Seems Everyone Is Getting Diagnosed With Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Increased awareness. If you have not been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, but know someone who has, this is enough to increase your awareness.

Its akin to the phenomenon of noticing that everyone is driving a particular model of car only after youve purchased that car!

Increased awareness by the medical community. Medicine is not finite. Doctors and researchers are always learning something new.

A new discovery does not mean a fad or in disease just to make money.

Sleep Apnea Cardiovascular Risk And Metabolism

Sleep Apnea Could be Hurting Your Heart

Several studies have shown an association between sleep apnea and problems like type 2 diabetes , strokes , heart attacks and even a shortened lifespan, says Jun. Why this connection? For one thing, obesity is common in sleep apnea patients, and obesity greatly increases risks of diabetes, stroke and heart attack, he says. In most cases, obesity is the main culprit behind both conditions, Jun explains.

Still, its important to note that not everyone with sleep apnea is obese. Furthermore, evidence suggests an independent link between sleep apnea and diabetes. Our lab and others have shown that sleep apnea is associated with higher risks of diabetes, independent of obesity, and that sleep apnea can increase blood sugar levels, says Jun.

For people who are overweight or obese, weight loss is key for treating or avoiding sleep apnea. People who accumulate fat in the neck, tongue and upper belly are especially vulnerable to getting sleep apnea. This weight reduces the diameter of the throat and pushes against the lungs, contributing to airway collapse during sleep.

Women in particular should be careful as they age. While premenopausal women tend to put on weight in the hips and in the lower body instead of the belly, this shifts with time. Weight begins to accumulate in traditionally male areas like the tummy, and this leads to a greater chance of sleep apnea.

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Can A Cpap Machine Make You Sick

Those who use CPAP machines need to clean and maintain them well. This is because a contaminated device could expose your skin to harmful germs, resulting in dirty bacteria touching your face and possibly causing irritation or infection.

Additionally, if the pump is not properly cleaned, you could breathe in bacteria or mold.

Serious Consequences Of Sleep Apnea

While these symptoms can potentially affect a persons quality of life, they can also have even more serious consequences.

Researchers at Penn State performed a systematic review of the literature and identified 22 studies focusing on obstructive sleep apnea, cardiac death, and sudden death. The team analyzed the combined data of these studies by meta-analysis.

The quantitative analysis included a combined total of over 42,000 individuals across the world. The mean age of participants was 62 years old, and 64% were men.

The meta-analysis showed that individuals with obstructive sleep apnea were approximatelytwice as likely to experience sudden death than those who did not have the sleep condition. The study also identified that obstructive sleep apnea resulted in a nearly twofold risk of cardiovascular death that increased with age.

According to Dr. John S. Oh, assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and one of the study authors, many patients do not realize the seriousness of an apnea diagnosis.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a common condition that can have fatal consequences, stresses Dr. Oh.

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Car Accidents In People With Sleep Apnea

You don’t need to have severe OSA to be at risk of dying. People with moderate and even mild cases fall asleep while driving.

According to this study apnea patients have 2 to 3 times increased risk of motor vehicle crash.

If you have sleep apnea, you must stop driving immediately, until the condition is effectively treated. You could face criminal charges if you are involved in a road traffic accident, or you could lose your life.

CPAP and Drivers

Did you know that CPAP reduces the risk of having car accidents in drivers with sleep apnea? Read the study here.

For more info on car accidents from sleep apnea, see alternative cures for sleep apnea.

Why Is Sleep Apnea So Dangerous

What Happens When You Have Sleep Apnea?

The link between sleep apnea and sudden cardiac arrest comes down to abnormal heart rhythm. Disordered breathing triggers a flight or fight response. Reena Mehra, a sleep expert and researcher in studies that verify this connection, notes that:

Sleep apnea may lower oxygen levels, activate the fight-or-flight response and change pressure in the chest when the upper airway closes, stressing the heart mechanically. Over time, this constant, nightly stress can prove too much for the heart, causing sudden heart failure and death.

Dr. Mehra also notes that:

. our group has shown that people with severe obstructive sleep apnea have a two-to-fourfold greater risk of abnormal heart rhythms than people without sleep apnea.

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Death Of Carrie Fisher Is A Warning About Sleep Apnea

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has issued a statement following the announcement that actress Carrie Fishers cause of death was sleep apnea and other undetermined factors.

Her death reminds us just how dangerous sleep apnea can be, especially when it comes to heart health. Severe obstructive sleep apnea that isnt treated can increase the risk of heart failure, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.

According to Fishers autopsy report, the Chief Medical Examiner concluded that sleep apnea was part of the immediate cause of death. The report noted her history of severe sleep apnea. Atherosclerotic heart disease was listed as another condition. Multiple drugs also were found in her system.

Millions of men and women with sleep apnea are unaware of it and remain undiagnosed. Obstructive sleep apnea is a common but serious sleep disorder that repeatedly causes you to stop breathing during sleep. The stress it causes for your heart and brain can have harmful long-term consequences for your health.

Sleep apnea symptoms include loud snoring, gasping during sleep, fatigue, and sleepiness during the day. People with high blood pressure and those who are obese are also at risk. Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of sleep apnea. Your doctor may refer you to a sleep center for help.

Illusion Of Sleep Apnea Being A New Disease

Sleep apnea has been around for a very long time, but wasnt given its official name until the late 20th century, says J. Mark Anderson, MD, DABFM, of Executive Medicine of Texasand who is board certified in family medicine.

What OSA used to be regarded as:

Prior to sleep apnea being widely recognized, people who died of sleep apnea were often just assumed that they died in their sleep of natural causes, or if elderly, of old age, says Dr. Anderson.

His snoring rattled the windows. Dr. Anderson says, Most people who snore, a symptom of sleep apnea, are often undiagnosed sufferers of sleep apnea.

Her snoring was mixed with snorts and gasps.

Shes always been such a sleepyhead.

Its stress itll fatigue you and give you headaches.

Hes just overworked too much overtime, not enough vacation time.

Of course she needs 12 hours of sleep a day she has a three-year-old, a two-year-old and a six-month-old.

Dr. Anderson explains, While sleep apnea is underdiagnosed, the number of reported cases are on the rise.

Perhaps this is due to a number of famous people dying of the condition, such as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

The symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea have always been around. Other symptoms include irritability and trouble concentrating, not to mention falling asleep easily when immobile or inactive.

Just because the cause of these symptoms for some patients has been discovered doesnt mean that OSA was created for profit.

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How Many People Die From Sleep Apnea

Statistics indicate that an estimated 38,000 people die from sleep-apnea-induced heart failure annually in the U.S., but this number is challenging to verify. Its challenging because many of these deaths are complicated by other comorbid conditions such as depression or use of depressants .

In the case of Carrie Fishers death, medical examiners were convinced that although drugs were found in her body, the main cause was sleep apnea-induced heart failure. The stress of disordered breathing can literally break your heart.

Obstructive sleep apnea has a tendency to increase the chances of sudden cardiac death in the middle of the night, too. Those with sleep apnea are two and a half times more likely to die of heart failure between midnight and six a.m. than those without it.

Even if its hard to pin down the exact numbers of sudden death from sleep apnea , the research is clear: the risks of untreated sleep apnea can be fatal.

Sleep Apnearelated Deaths Per Year

Sleep apnea and sudden death

The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that 38,000 people in the United States die each year from heart disease with sleep apnea as a complicating factor.

People with sleep apnea have difficulty breathing or stop breathing for short periods while sleeping. This treatable sleep disorder often goes undiagnosed.

According to the American Heart Association, 1 in 5 adults have sleep apnea to some degree. It is more common in men than in women. Children can also have sleep apnea.

Without treatment, sleep apnea can lead to serious complications.

It may lead to or worsen several life-threatening conditions, including:

  • more inflammation and stress

These effects increase the risk of cardiovascular problems.

A 2010 study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that having sleep apnea can raise your risk of a stroke by two or three times.

A 2007 study from Yale School of Medicine warns that sleep apnea can increase the chance of heart attack or death by 30 percent over a period of four to five years.

According to a 2013 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, people with sleep apnea have a higher risk of death from related cardiac complications. The study found that sleep apnea can increase the risk of sudden cardiac death.

This is most likely if you:

  • are older than 60 years of age
  • have 20 or more apnea episodes per hour of sleep
  • have a blood oxygen level of less than 78 percent during sleep

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Its All About What You Gain

In Staffords story, his first motivation to start treatment is about lowering harmful risks which CPAP can help with. But he also acknowledges everything he has gained since using CPAP the endurance to perform at his job, the alertness to get there safely, and the energy to be with his wife and son when he gets home at night. As Stafford says, I feel alive. More than Ive ever felt.

We hope you share Patricks story with others and encourage them to rediscover a great nights sleep and reap the benefits that Patrick and his family have.

This blog post contains general information about medical conditions and potential treatments. It is not medical advice. If you have any medical questions, please consult your doctor.

Top 12 Celebrities With Sleep Apnea

They make us laugh and sometimes cry they inspire us, they lift us up, they make us look at our own life and they make us want to be just like them. They have that impossible cool, that impossible suave and that impossible glamour. We emulate them, but we keep our distance, if only to protect their ephemeral nature. These are, of course, our beloved and admired celebrities. Each is more iconic than the last, but all have that star studded criteria that, well, makes them stars. We love them unconditionally even if they have flaws. Yet, it is in these flaws that we see past the glitz, the sparkle, and the million dollar smile it is in these flaws that we see ourselves. And one of those flaws just happens to be a chronic, debilitating sleep disorder that affects people from all walks of life. Here is the ultimate compilation of celebrities who report struggling with sleep apnea.

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