Iowa Sleep Blog

Is Simple Snoring Simply Snoring?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Here Is a study I recently found on a Medical News website.  This study examined individuals that had untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea and individuals that had simple snoring.  Much more than just an irritation to bed partners, snoring can be a precursor to more severe issues.

Researchers at the Henry Ford Clinic have found that individuals who snore may be at an even higher risk of cardiovascular disease than those who are obese, smoke or have high cholesterol.  Before this study was performed, there was little evidence that showed simple snoring increased the risks of cardiovascular disease. 

Researchers took 913 individuals, including those who did not have sleep apnea, and observed them for six years.  Out of the 913, 54 received an ultrasound of the carotid artery. The carotid arteries are very important as they supply oxygenated blood to the brain and other areas of the head. 

With the assistance of the ultrasound, the researchers measured the two most interior layers of the artery wall and found there was increased thickening.  Researchers believe that this increased thickening is due to the trauma and subsequent inflammation caused by the vibrations of the snore. 

This study concludes that those who snore, even those without Obstructive Sleep Apnea, have a significantly greater increase of the carotid arterial wall, the first sign of carotid artery disease.

Research findings were presented to the Laryngoscope Journal for publication June 14, 2013.