Experts say it is more important than ever to be screened for nighttime breathing disorders if you are a woman. With the added knowledge that sleep apnea can boost a woman’s risk for heart problems and even death, we want to make sure you are well taken care of. While there is no such effect for men, it is still important for everyone to seek treatment for sleep apnea.
It is vital that you get screened for sleep apnea as a woman. Because women are often not routinely screened for sleep apnea, we can often miss out on important factors that could help improve your overall health and wellbeing. In a study of 1600 people with the average age of 63 who did not have heart disease at the start of the study, 46% of men and 32% of women either developed heart problems or died.
This study found that women with moderate to severe sleep apnea had more than a 30% higher risk of heart problems than women without sleep apnea. The study also found no significant link between sleep apnea and heart problems in men. Now that doesn’t mean men don’t have to worry—they still should receive proper treatment.
What to Do
While sleep apnea is often thought of as a disease that is most common in men, the results from this study help to highlight just how important it is to recognize sleep apnea symptoms in women. This is particularly important for women who are post-menopause whom the incidence of sleep apnea increases. Women who report symptoms of sleep apnea often include snoring, gasping at night, a bed partner’s observation of a stoppage in breathing, morning headaches, non-refreshing sleep or daytime sleepiness should undergo sleep testing as soon as possible. Through sleep testing, you can be properly assessed and diagnosed.
Please contact Craniofacial Pain and Dental Sleep Center of Georgia for more information on sleep apnea and your risk.