Having had all sorts of problem over the years due to a heart problem from birth. I am still here at 50 years of age (longer than the doctors told my mother when I was about 15)
My most recent problem which put me in critical coronary care was to do with blood pressure. The other problem was my heart had gone into Atrial Fibrilliation (AF). Now on medication the heart is beating in sinus mode again and can at any point go back into Sinus mode.
Atrial fibrillation causes a fast and erratic heartbeat. It is a complication of various diseases. Medication can slow the heart rate back to normal, and ease symptoms. In some cases, treatment can restore the heart back to a normal rhythm. In addition, a drug such as warfarin is usually advised to reduce the risk of having a stroke
I am now left with shortness of breath, chest discomfort and high blood pressure. Here is a typical night at work.
01.45 AM (167/116) (62 BPM) )(CHEST DISCOMFORT)
02.35 AM (200/127) (61 BPM) (CHEST DISCOMFORT)
03.30 AM (199/122) (62 BPM) (CHEST DISCOMFORT)
04.15 AM (208/106) (70 BPM) (CHEST DISCOMFORT)
04.55 AM (210/118) (67 BPM) (CHEST DISCOMFORT)
05.30 AM (180/118) (68 BPM) (CHEST DISCOMFORT)
I have been put on medication to lower the blood pressure which seems to be working. Ask for the 24 hour monitor to see what your blood pressure is over one day
I asked the consultant last week a series of questions and two of these were to do with Blood Pressure, AF and the connection with OSA . His answer was yes there is evidence to show this is the case.
I have just read this http://www.talkaboutsleep.com/sleep-disorders/archives/Snoring_apnea_bloodpressure.htm
People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are likely to have a blood vessel impairment that may cause daytime blood pressure elevation and may lead to heart disease, according to a new Mayo Clinic study published this week in Circulation. An estimated 15 million Americans -- three-fourths of them men -- suffer from sleep apnea, but only about ten percent have been diagnosed and treated.
The study, conducted in collaboration with University of Iowa researchers, compared endothelial function in healthy obese subjects with sleep apnea with a closely matched control group without sleep apnea. The endothelium is a layer of cells that lines blood vessels and regulates blood pressure by causing vessels to dilate.
"We know that high blood pressure, diabetes, congestive heart failure and high cholesterol levels damage the endothelium, and that this endothelial impairment in turn may lead to blood pressure elevation and further vessel damage," says Virend Somers, M.D., a Mayo Clinic cardiologist and the senior investigator in the study. "This study shows that sleep apnea also is an independent cause of endothelial impairment, even in the absence of other factors. It suggests that sleep apnea in otherwise healthy individuals may set in motion a long-term cycle of endothelial damage, hypertension and heart disease."
The study introduction in the journal Circulation 2000;102:2607-2610 summarizes the key points:
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been linked to hypertension, heart failure, and stroke and to increased mortality.
The mechanisms underlying the association between OSA and cardiovascular disease are not fully understood.
Patients with OSA have a heightened sympathetic drive during wakefulness, which may increase even further during sleep.
During sleep, these patients experience severe repetitive hypoxemic stress, with reflex sympathetic activation and consequent marked increases in blood pressure.
Hypoxemia, sympathetic activation, and increased arterial pressure may impair endothelial function, suggesting a possible mechanism for the development of cardiovascular disease in OSA patients.
People with sleep apnea typically stop breathing dozens or even hundreds of times during the night as their airway collapses like a wet soda straw. Researchers believe the combination of oxygen deprivation and the extremely high nighttime blood pressure caused by sleep apnea may be responsible for the endothelial damage observed in the study.
Results showing restoration of endothelial function by correcting other risk factors lead researchers to believe that treating OSA may have a similar effect. "Since treating high blood pressure and hypertension has been shown to improve endothelial function, it seems likely that eliminating the nightly blood pressure spikes and oxygen shortages caused by OSA also will help," says Dr. Somers. "Patients who receive treatment also typically feel better rested and are more alert, and therefore are less likely to get in an accident than those who continue to suffer sleep deprivation."
The study was conducted with a small group of closely matched subjects, all males. There were 8 patients with sleep apnea and 9 patients in the control group. The OSA patients were newly diagnosed and not yet treated for their sleep apnea. The control subjects were tested for sleep apnea as well. but the mean AHI (apnea-hypopnea index) for the controls was 1 per hour, compared to the 52 per hour for the apnea patients.
There were no significant differences between the two groups in age, body mass index, body fat, or cholesterol levels. None of the patients was taking any medication
Dr. Somers says the study highlights the widespread cardiovascular effects of sleep apnea and the need for people to learn about it and watch for its symptoms. "Most cases of sleep apnea are first noticed when the patient falls asleep during the day, or by a woman seeing her husband stop breathing at night.
The good news is that in many cases patients can reduce or eliminate the problem by losing weight, sleeping on their side, and avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills. Others find relief through a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, which keeps the airway from collapsing. (Editor's note: Most sleep specialists and apnea patients indicate that CPAP is the "gold standard" treatment for sleep apnea) While these treatments are not perfect, they can help the majority of sleep apnea sufferers. This new study gives one more important reason for people who suspect they have sleep apnea to seek medical attention."
Hope this helps