Sleep apnoea may offer protection for heart attack patients

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People who suffer from sleep apnoea may be better equipped to recover from a heart attack, according to new research.

Many studies have shown that sleep apnoea is a risk factor for a number of things including high blood pressure and chronic heart failure. Research has also shown that it increases oxygen-related stress and inflammation in the heart and blood vessels. Despite this, people with sleep-related disorders often recover as well as healthy sleepers after a heart attack.

The new study, published in theĀ American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, examined 40 men; a mix of healthy sleepers and those with a sleep-related disorder. The entire group had experienced a heart attack just a few days before the study.

After analysing blood samples, the researchers found that people with sleep problems had higher levels of cells that help to repair and build new blood vessels.
People with sleep apnoea may be better prepared to generate new blood vessels after a heart attack.

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