People with sleep apnea can experience changes in their blood pressure in as little as six hours after falling asleep. That's the finding of a study from The University of British Columbia.
Glen Foster is principal investigator for the study. He says people with sleep apnea are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, primarily hypertension. He also says these risks are higher in people with other health conditions.
"People need to get diagnosed quickly so that they can get treatment quickly and then if they are being provided with treatment they need to be compliant with that treatment to see benefit," says Foster.
According to Foster, the primary treatment for sleep apnea is a mask that keeps airways open during sleep. Unfortunately, he says, treatment is poorly tolerated by patients, which means it's not as effective at reducing cardiovascular risks.