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Sleep apnoea is linked to obesity – a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Although it still appears unclear as to whether sleep apnoea is the cause of obesity and heart health problems or if in fact, obesity and heart health problems lead to sleep apnoea, the link between the two is evident and well-documented in several studies:

  • One study found that people with untreated, severe obstructive sleep apnoea have more heart attacks than people of the same age, weight and gender who don’t suffer from the condition

  • A second study observed people with coronary heart disease and obstructive sleep apnoea, finding that they were more likely to die within 5 years than those without obstructive sleep apnoea 

  • Lastly, it has been reported that a 10% weight gain is linked to a sixfold increased risk of developing moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnoea

If you take a look at current statistics, it paints a very clear picture of the impact that sleep apnoea has on heart health:

  • Patients with sleep apnoea are 4 times more likely to have coronary heart disease

  • 50% of congestive heart failure patients have sleep apnoea and 5% of all heart disease is attributable to sleep apnoea

  • Mild obstructive sleep apnoea doubles the risk of hypertension

  • 35% of people with obstructive sleep apnoea have hypertension

  • 70% of people who have had a stroke have sleep apnoea

1 in 4 men over 30 suffer from sleep apnoea and a person with sleep apnoea is seven times more likely to have a car accident. How much of a risk is sleep apnoea presenting to employee health and safety at your workplace?