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Healthy Heart Reports

Daytime Sleepiness Increases Risk Of Heart Attacks

Being over 50 and having sudden need to fall asleep during the day puts you at increased risk for a heart attack and early death. Daytime sleepiness is associated with both inability to fall asleep and stay asleep at night. It is associated with obesity, lung and heart disease and sleep apnea in which you stop breathing for more than 20 seconds many times during the night.

If you have day-time sleepiness, check with your doctor. You may need an electrocardiogram and a check of your heart, and you lungs and nose for obstruction. You may also need to spend a night in a sleep chamber to see if you have sleep apnea. If you are overweight or have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, get on a program to lose weight, start a supervised exercise program and a diet, and perhaps drugs, to lower cholesterol. Daytime sleepiness may mean that you are at increased risk for a heart attack.

AB Newman, CF Spiekerman, P Enright, D Lefkowitz, T Manolio, CF Reynolds, J Robbins. Daytime sleepiness predicts mortality and cardiovascular disease in older adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2000, Vol 48, Iss 2, pp 115-123. Address Newman AB, Univ Pittsburgh, Sch Med, Div Geriatr Med, 3520 5th Ave, Suite 300, Pittsburgh,PA 15213 USA


Copyright 2000
Dr. Mirkin's opinions and the references cited are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe. For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider.

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