Heart disease is any disorder that affects the heart such as irregular heart beat, Coronary artery disease (CAD), Heart attack, Congestive heart failure (CHF) or Atrial Fibrillation (AFIB). If left untreated heart disease can cause many potentially fatal complications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1 in 4 deaths in the United States is due to heart disease.
Sleep apnea and heart disease are more closely related then most people think. Because sleep apnea causes the the heart and lungs to work so hard while you are sleeping, the systems responsible for body regulation become strained and damaged. Some studies have shown that sleep apnea can even cause a person to suffer from sudden cardiac death.
Studies have found that patients being treated for heart disease with standard medical care and treated their sleep apnea with continuous positive airway pressure machines (CPAP) were shown to have have a significant increase in pumping ability of the heart and heart rates as well as blood pressure levels are significantly lower.
Since obstructive sleep apnea is so prevalent among people with heart disease, researchers have said the use of CPAP could be an important addition to conventional drug-based therapy.