It’s common to believe that the health risks related to snoring are mostly due to the relationship between snoring and sleep apnea. But now a new study suggests that there is a potentially serious link between snoring and chronic health conditions.

This means that getting snoring treatment is more important than just trying not to disturb your sleeping partner: it’s a vital step in trying to ensure your continued health.

a Doctor checking a patient's blood pressure and what that can lead to

Assessing Health in Urban and Rural Populations

The data for this study comes from a large sampling of the health of urban and rural populations in Bangladesh. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the study is its size: over 12,000 adults age 35 and over had their sleep assessed.

They were asked about their average total sleep as well as whether they snore or not. When possible, self-reported snoring was confirmed by the spouse. Subjects were also assessed for chronic health conditions, including:

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

As well as “any other chronic conditions,” although it’s unclear how these less common conditions were factored into the analysis.

Strong Association with Snoring

Overall, about 18% of people in the study had at least one chronic health condition, with about the same percentage experiencing sleep problems.  When researchers correlated the prevalence of snoring against the occurrence of chronic disease, they found that snoring was associated with a higher instance of all chronic diseases except cancer. Overall, people who snored had a 20% higher risk of developing a chronic health condition. The strongest correlation was related to hypertension, which was the most prevalent chronic health condition in the study.

This study reminds us that sleep problems like snoring are not exclusive to the first world. Instead, they are common in all societies, including developing countries like Bangladesh.

Reduced total sleep (less than seven hours a night) was also associated with chronic health problems, but the association was weaker, and barely statistically significant.

Don’t Ignore Snoring

But most importantly, this study reminds us that snoring is itself a potentially serious health hazard. It’s important to get snoring treated to protect your overall health, helping to avoid conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and even stroke.

If you are a snorer in Omaha, now is the time to get treatment for your condition. Please call (402) 493-4175 today for an appointment with a sleep dentist at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.