Sleep Apnea Could Lead To Miscarriages and Heart Disease
Infertility and miscarriages can be aggravated by obstructive sleep apnea or upper airway resistance syndrome. A recent study showed that having 3 miscarriages increases your chances of having heart disease by over 5 times normal.
If you think about the physiology, it makes sense: Breathing pauses during sleep, whether or not it’s an apnea, can cause a physiologic state of stress. In other words, you’ll have too much adrenaline, which you need to fight or run from danger. It’s also common knowledge that if you’re in a fight or flight situation, the last thing you need to do is to reproduce. Physiologically, stress has a way of diminishing or reducing nervous innervation and blood flow to your reproductive organs and digestive system (as well as your skin, hands and feet).
Since people with obstructive sleep apnea or upper airway resistance syndrome have narrowed upper airways, it’s not surprising that women who have frequent miscarriages can develop heart disease later on in life. A patient that has a history of miscarriages or infertility, may also show same upper airway anatomy: small jaws and narrowed space behind the tongue. Most will not be able to sleep on their backs, have either cold hands or feet, or suffer from various gastrointestinal problems.
Women who experience more than one pregnancy loss — including miscarriage and stillbirth — are at greater risk for heart attack later in life, according to a study of more than 11,000 European women.
Researchers examined the medical histories of participants in the long-term European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), and found that 25% had experienced at least one miscarriage and 2% had experienced a stillbirth. Among this same group, 82 women had a heart attack and 112 had a stroke.
Researchers found that women who had had at least one stillbirth were 3.5 times more likely to have a heart attack in later life, compared with women who did not experience stillbirth. In women who had more than stillbirth, each event increased her likelihood of heart attack by 2.65 times.
Women who had multiple miscarriages had an even greater heart risk. Researchers found that those who had had at least three miscarriages were five times as likely to have a heart attack as women with no miscarriages, after adjusting for other factors, such as weight, smoking and alcohol consumption. Each miscarriage increased heart attack risk by 40%.
The researchers found no similar heart risks for women the 2,053 women who had undergone abortions.
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