5 Health Issues Linked to Snoring
Aug 29, 2012 (updated Jan 25, 2014)
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Snoring can be a nuisance to your bed partner or a sign of a more serious condition. Here are some conditions that have been linked to snoring.
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Behavioral problems with children
Loud snoring in young children is associated with hyperactivity, depression and inattention. They discovered that kids who snored loudly at least twice a week at ages 2 and 3 had more behavioral problems than those who did not snore, or those who snored at 2 or 3 but not at both ages. Researchers found a link between snoring and lower socioeconomic status as well as with a lack of or shorter duration of breast feeding.
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A Northwestern University study from 2009 found that women who frequently snored during pregnancy were more likely to develop gestational diabetes. The study analyzed sleep surveys from 189 women between six and 20 weeks of pregnancy and then again in the third trimester. Pregnant women who snored frequently had a 14.3 percent chance of developing gestational diabetes, and women who did not snore had a 3.3 percent chance.
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Stroke and heart disease
A Hungarian study published in the journal Sleep in 2008 found that loud snorers were at an increased risk of stroke and heart disease compared to people who do not snore. Researchers interviewed 12,643 people about their snoring and found that loud snorers had a 67 percent higher risk of having a stroke and 34 percent higher risk of heart attack compared to people who do not snore.
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Obstructive Sleep Apnea
A tell-tale sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is loud and chronic snoring. In addition, a choking or gasping sound may be present after a pause in the snoring. OSA is caused by a collapsing of the airway or a blocked airway during sleep, which causes shallow or paused breathing. OSA is linked to serious health issues, such as high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
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Not all snoring is caused by sleep apnea, but snoring can be a sign that you are overweight, which can contribute to obstructive sleep apnea. Losing even 10 pounds could be enough to stop you from snoring.