Women not immune from snoring-stroke connection

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New York: It is not only men who are at risk of stroke linked to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). A study has found that the link between OSA and stroke may be just as strong among women too.

Snoring is a cardinal feature of the OSA syndrome.

Previous studies have attributed most significant risks of stroke and OSA links to male patients perhaps because men tend to develop OSA earlier than women.

Women are just as susceptible as men when it comes to the vascular effects of OSA, the findings of the study showed.

"Our results could have a substantial impact on our thinking of the risks associated with sleep apnea in women," said Suzie Bertisch, research faculty member at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in the US.

From a clinical standpoint, the results could help clinicians provide more proactive treatment for reducing cardiovascular risk in their female OSA patients, she noted.

For the study, the researchers re-examined the association between OSA and stroke using data from 5,442 participants.

The researchers not surprisingly found a significant association between stroke risk and OSA.

What was surprising was that they also found that the risk of stroke was equal among male and female participants.

The study was presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

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