Untreated apnoea 'can be dangerous'

People who fail to seek medical treatment for sleep apnoea may be putting their health at risk.

That is according to Dr Andrew Cummin, sleep centre director at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

He said: "If sleep apnoea is left untreated the consequences can be life-threatening. Health risks of particular concern include heart failure, stroke, irregular heart rhythms and cardiovascular disease.

"In fact, sleep apnoea sufferers have also been found to be seven times more likely to have a car accident due to falling asleep behind the wheel. Research also shows sleep apnoea to be a contributing risk factor in diabetes, obesity and depression."

The comments were made after an article which was published in the British Medical Journal suggested that a low energy diet improved obstructive sleep apnoea among obese men.

Dr Cummin advised apnoea sufferers to consider losing weight and avoid drinking alcohol to prevent their snoring from becoming worse.

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