We’ve long known that people suffering from sleep apnea are at a great risk of suffering sudden heart attack.

But why? And more importantly, how can you avoid heart attack if you have sleep apnea?

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A new study from Japan, published in the Journal of Hypertension reveals the answer for these two questions.

They were interested in the relationship between sleep apnea, fat, and arterial stiffness. They were specifically interested in the question of whether the severity of sleep apnea affected the severity of harmful fat deposits in our bodies and the severity of arterial stiffness.

They recruited 110 people with sleep apnea who were tested for the severity of their condition.

In addition, the researchers measured the participant’s body mass index, arterial stiffness, epicardial adipose tissue, visceral adipose tissue, and subcutaneous adipose tissue.

These are the three main forms of fat stored in the human body:

1. Epicardial adipose tissue (or simply epicardial fat) is found around your heart and the large arteries that lead from it. It produces many bioactive molecules and has been linked with heart disease.

2. Visceral adipose tissue (or visceral fat) is stored in your abdomen around your stomach, intestines, liver, and other organs. It has been linked to type 2 diabetes and heart disease and is responsible for a large belly.

3. Subcutaneous fat appears just below your skin and has not been found to be harmful.

In the 110 Japanese sleep apnea sufferers in this study, their body mass index and subcutaneous fat were not related to the severity of their sleep apnea.

Those with the most severe sleep apnea, on the other hand, had the greatest stored levels of either epicardial or visceral fat or both.

Those with the most epicardial fat and the most severe sleep apnea were also found to suffer from arterial stiffness, a serious risk for acute cardiovascular events.

So, by tackling your sleep apnea, you should be able to both lose weight and soften your heart arteries.

What Next?

The only permanent cure for sleep apnea are simple throat exercises, found here, that open up your breathing passages while you sleep…

And the most effective way to clear cholesterol out of your heart arteries is cutting out this one ingredient you might not have even known you were consuming…


HELPFUL SLEEP APNEA INFOGRAPHICS

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The Consequences of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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