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Prevalence and Determinants of Sleep Apnea in Patients with Stroke

Sleep apnea is a well-recognized risk factor for stroke and cardiovascular disease. Certain types of stroke may also lead to sleep apnea by affecting brain regions regulating breathing during sleep. In a recent meta-analysis of more than 8,000 stroke patients, the HKU Stroke Team has found that around 70% of them had sleep apnea, and 27% were classified as severe. Left undiagnosed and untreated, stroke patients with sleep apnea would suffer from worse clinical outcomes such as increased risk of recurrent stroke, reduced mobility and cognitive impairment.

The common symptoms of sleep apnea include excessive daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, observed episodes of stopping breathing during sleep, difficulty concentrating during the day, cognitive impairment and headache upon waking up. In addition, people who are having a neck circumference >40cm, body weight index (BMI) >30, and male appear to have a higher risk of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea has many potential consequences, including an increased risk of stroke, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, atrial fibrillation, metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and road traffic accidents.

Therefore, if you have symptoms of sleep apnea, see a Doctor early to get tested and to receive appropriate treatment.

The research article can be accessed via:

Blood pressure controlling is important to prevent stroke and other diseases. “WeRISE” App can help monitoring and managing stroke risk factors to prevent recurrent stroke and cardiovascular disease.

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