If you are a loud snorer there is a good chance your risk of stroke and heart disease is higher compared to people who do not snore, say Hungarian scientists after a new study on 12,643 participants.

You can read about this in the journal Sleep.

The authors explain that everybody snores to some extent at some period in their lives. Estimates indicate that approximately 40% of men and 24% of women snore regularly. Although previous studies had indicated there may be a link between habitual snoring and stroke and heart attack risk, this one has more compelling evidence.

The scientists interviewed 12,643 people at home about their snoring - they The represented 0.16% of the Hungarian population over the age of 18 years according to age, sex, and 150 sub-regions of the country.

The scientists report that, according to their study, 37% of men and 21% of women reported loud snoring with breathing pauses. 26% of the respondents reported having hypertension (high blood pressure), 3% had had myocardial infarction and 4% a stroke. They found that a loud snorer has a 67% higher risk of having a stroke compared to people who do not snore, the risk of heart attack is 34% higher for loud snorers.

It seems that quiet snorers do not run a higher risk of heart disease and/or stroke compared to people who do not snore, the scientists said.

The authors concluded "Snoring is frequent in the Hungarian adult population, and loud snoring with breathing pauses, in contrast with quiet snoring, is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and increased health-care utilization."

"Cardiovascular Disease and Health-Care Utilization in Snorers: a Population Survey"
Andrea Dunai, MD, Andras P. Keszei, MD, PhD, Maria S. Kopp, MD,PhD, Colin M. Shapiro, MBBCh, PhD, FRCPC, Istvan Mucsi, MD, PhD, Marta Novak, MD, PhD
SLEEP Volume 31, Issue 03, Pages 411-416
Click here to view abstract online

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