Heart attack and stroke

Cardiovascular patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea are living dangerously. The risk of a heart attack and stroke is dramatically increased.

The latest studies found that approx. 9% of men and approx. 4% of women suffer from so-called obstructive sleep apnoea. This is a condition in which breathing is interrupted frequently during sleep for a period of several seconds up to one minute. This occurs due to a blockage  (obstruction) of the airways caused by the tongue resting too far back in the mouth. These interruptions are broken by a waking reaction (the body’s alarm signal), which impairs the quality of sleep dramatically.

The frequent waking reactions are triggered by the distribution of stress hormones such as adrenaline or cortisol, to protect the sleeper from sudden suffocation. The respiratory interruptions are almost always accompanied by a significant increase in blood pressure. Respiratory arrest during sleep leads to insufficient aeration of the lungs. This causes a drop in oxygen saturation in the blood. The increase in blood pressure is all the more pronounced the lower the oxygen concentration in the blood and the longer and more frequently the pauses occur during sleep. This requires the heart to work harder at a time when it is being supplied with less oxygen. 

Cardiac insufficiency plus breathing pauses – an explosive mixture

Heart patients often underestimate the risk from obstructive sleep apnoea. As the bodies of sleep apnoea sufferers are supplied with too little oxygen during sleep, the blood supply to the heart is reduced, which damages the heart muscle in the long term. Cardiac arrhythmia and weakened pumping power to the heart (cardiac insufficiency) are frequent occurrences. These can be precursors and warning signs for a sudden heart attack. Persistent circulatory disorders of parts of the heart muscle (ischemia) can also develop. The consequence is often a fatal heart attack due to obstructive sleep apnoea.

In the “Reha Sleep Register”, data of approx. 1200 heart patients was evaluated according to the “Medical Tribune”. It was established that only every third cardio-reha patient breathes normally at night. 33% have at least moderate sleep apnoea.

Mortality risk: Stroke due to untreated sleep apnoea

In the case of patients with obstructive sleep apnoea, the heart, circulation and brain are placed under severe stress due to the constantly high blood pressure level and the clear oxygen insufficiency. One reason for the increased mortality risk for sleep apnoea sufferers is the damage to the brain cells due to the insufficient circulation linked to the illness. After every respiratory arrest during the night, blood flow speed and arterial pressure in the brain increase initially then sink to a minimum. These rapid changes can lead to a life-threatening cerebral infarction (cerebral ischemia). The oxygen insufficiency (hypoxia) causes an inflammatory process in the blood vessels. This leads to arteriosclerotic deposits in the carotid arteries. The deposits narrow the carotid arteries and blood clots are developed. This can lead to the obstruction of a blood vessel (thrombosis, embolism), as it can be carried to the brain via the bloodstream. This leads to the dreaded stroke, from which approx. 200,000 German citizens suffer annually. In Germany there are over one million patients who have to live with physical or mental handicaps as a result of a stroke. These are generally permanent effects such as paralyses or speech disorders. A Swedish study showed that sleep apnoea increases the mortality risk from strokes by 75%.

This proves that obstructive sleep apnoea is linked to acute life-threatening danger. Strokes or heart attacks can be avoided in many cases if the cause of the sleep apnoea is eliminated early enough.

Obstructive sleep apnoea is cured forever using the globally unique operation “Rotation Advancement” developed by Prof. Sailer. It is also important to know that this surgical method can even be used on patients after a heart attack or stroke. The significantly reduced life expectancy for this high-risk patient group is therefore a thing of the past.

Obstructive sleep apnoea is cured forever using the globally unique and pain-free surgical method  “Rotation Advancement” developed by Prof. Sailer. The significantly reduced life expectancy for this high-risk patient group is therefore a thing of the past.

Do you have any questions or would you like a personal consultation? We are happy to help.