A recent study published by the American Heart Association shows a strong correlation between untreated obstructive sleep apnea and hard to treat high blood pressure among African Americans. Researchers conducting the Jackson Heart Study, the largest examination of African American cardiovascular health to date, followed 664 study participants with hypertension. After testing participants for sleep apnea, it was found that those with moderate to severe sleep apnea were twice as likely to also suffer from hard to treat high blood pressure - the kind that is resistant to medication - than those with mild or no sleep apnea. Remarkably, 94% of participants found to have sleep apnea had never been diagnosed.
"This is very important because it shows how many people are affected by sleep apnea, but unaware…This finding also supports the importance of screening high-risk individuals for sleep apnea,” says Dr. Dayna Johnson who led the study at Harvard Medical School / Brigham and Women’s Hospital. (1)
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