A Moment of Science

What Is The Connection Between Snoring And Metabolic Syndrome?

Snoring can be a red flag for diseases like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Pillow on a bed

Photo: namealus (flickr)

Even with the perfect pillow it can be difficult to get sleep if someone in the room is snoring.

If you’ve ever shared a bed with someone who snores loudly, you know it can be annoying.

But serious snoring is more than just a nuisance. It can also be a red flag for metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that increase the chance of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Red Flags Of Snoring

Metabolic syndrome symptoms include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, too much fat around the middle, and elevated insulin levels. Any one or combination of these symptoms increases the chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke, or developing diabetes.

What’s The Connection Between Snoring And Metabolic Syndrome?

Eight hundred patients participated in a study.

In the study, sleep disturbances strongly predicted the development of metabolic syndrome in people who seemed to be healthy. Loud snoring apparently doubles the risk, while trouble sleeping raises the risk by 80 percent.

Other studies have shown that snoring and other sleep problems may actually cause health problems related to metabolic syndrome.

Is Snoring Dangerous?

So does this mean that if you snore, you’re certain to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome? Not necessarily. The point isn’t that everyone who snores or has trouble falling asleep is in grave danger.

But there’s enough experimental evidence to suggest if you’re a loud snorer who has trouble sleeping, it’s worth keeping tabs on your blood pressure, cholesterol, and other risk factors for heart disease.

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