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The Connection Between Sleep Apnea & Cholesterol

 If you or someone you know suffers from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), then you probably know just how dangerously tired it can leave you feeling, since it tends to prevent sufferers from experiencing deep and restful sleep. However, that's not the only piece of bad news, since new research now shows that OSA actually lowers your levels of good HDL cholesterol, while raising your levels of bad LDL cholesterol, all while you are asleep.

 

Cholesterol and Sleep Apnea
The University of Gothenburg's Dr. Ludger Grote and his colleagues worked on a study to discover what the association between high cholesterol levels and OSA truly is. The researchers studied the medical data of around 8,600 OSA patients who had no existing diagnosis of high cholesterol. What the team managed to find out was that quite a large portion of them actually had high levels of bad cholesterol without even being aware of it.
Cholesterol and Sleep Apnea

The researchers were very careful to make allowances for certain other factors, such as the patients' body mass index (BMI) and levels of abdominal obesity. The team revealed that the more severe a person's OSA was, the higher their bad cholesterol levels tend to be.

According to Dr. Grote, "our data clearly suggest that sleep apnea may have a negative impact on lipid levels, which may in part explain the association between sleep apnea and increased risk for cardiovascular disease.”

Cholesterol and Sleep Apnea

The scientific community is still in the dark about why exactly OSA creates a climate for bad cholesterol levels to rise, which is why further research is clearly required. However, Dr. Grote still stresses that doctors should be aware of this link when treating sufferers of OSA.

If you think that you may be an OSA sufferer, make sure to visit a doctor as soon as possible, and ensure that they check your cholesterol levels too while you're there. Don't just ignore the problems since some forms of OSA are far more treatable than others.

BONUS: Foods to Avoid For a Good Night's Sleep

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