Scary studies regarding sleep apnea

The New England Journal of Medicine came out with a couple of very scary studies regarding sleep apnea. The first study regarded central sleep apnea and heart failure. The results aren’t good, even when patients are treated with CPAP. I don’t have central sleep apnea, so I just glanced over this study.

The second study provides strong support that obstructive sleep apnea is likely involved in causing strokes, transient ischemic attack or sudden death, he says.

The troubling part of this study is that most people in it were already receiving treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, Dr. Somers says. “So is the stroke risk even higher for people not being treated, and how much do patients benefit from treatment?” he asks.

Now that is scary. Stroke risk increased even when treated with CPAP? Eek! If there’s a possibility you have sleep apnea, go in to your physician and ask for a sleep study. It’s a scary condition, and you absolutely need to have it treated.


High blood pressure + obesity = bad news

So it turns out that, while being overweight is not good for your heart, it doesn’t necessarily put a person at risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Instead, it is high blood pressure combined with obesity that is deadly:

* Overweight men and women who had high blood pressure faced double the risk for fatal heart attack or stroke of overweight people with normal blood pressure.
* Overweight women who had high blood pressure and diabetes were at more than four times the risk of cardiovascular death and overweight men with high blood pressure had triple the risk, compared to women and men with normal weight and normal blood pressure.
* Overweight people with diabetes and normal blood pressure weren’t at increased risk of cardiovascular death. Overweight men with high cholesterol were at a slightly increased risk of cardiovascular death, but that was not the case for women.

The best way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death in overweight and obese people with high blood pressure is treatment that targets both blood pressure and weight, Benetos said.


Okay, I think I learned my lesson…

Long-time readers here will know that I have gout. But I haven’t had a gout attack for quite a while now. And that gave me a false sense of security. Added to the fact that I don’t like taking medicine anyway, and this led to my decision that I could stop taking anythin. I figured, “hey, I’m eating better, so I don’t need to worry about triggering an outbreak.”

Well, i was wrong. Though I did manage to go about four weeks since I stopped taking my medication. But, over the last weekend, the joints in my right hand started killing me. They were aching miserably. It took me a few minutes to figure out what was going on, actually. I was first thinking, I must have arthritis. I might’ve used that as an excuse, too, but my kidney is sending out distress signals. I’ve had two gout-induced kidney stones, and that’s more than enough for me.

So last night, I told Erin what was going on. And she rightfully told me, “Don’t you dare complain to me!” She’s told me a few times to start taking the meds again, but I told her, “Hey, I’m an adult, I can make my own choices!”

I can, but I can also learn lessons from my mistakes. And that was a big one. [ouchie] So I’m back on my meds, and won’t come off them again.