How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Blood Pressure?

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Posted: May 4, 2015

May has been recognized as National High Blood Pressure Education Month by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute since 1974. Today, the education campaign involves over 100 national organizations and many more community health organizations across the country.
Sudden drops in blood oxygen (hypoxia) which take place duringsleep apnea cause increased blood pressure (hypertension) that puts a strain on the cardiovascular system. Individuals with obstructive sleep apnea have an increased risk of high blood pressure. The more severe the sleep apnea, the higher that risk.

There are many health risks associated with sleep apnea. For example, sleep apnea increases the risk of stroke, even when it does not elevate blood pressure, but high blood pressure is also linked to higher stroke risk. Hypoxia from obstructive sleep apnea can also lead to sudden death due to a cardiac event if an underlying heart disease is present.
Over 1,000 deaths each day are caused at least in part by hypertension. Treating your obstructive sleep apnea is an important step to getting your high blood pressure under control. Other steps you can take to lower your blood pressure include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Being a non-smoker
  • Exercising for 30 minutes several times a week
  • Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Managing stress
  • Limiting alcohol intake

To find out more about how to treat obstructive sleep apnea, please call 1 (866) 727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) to speak to a local specialist.