Sleep Specialist Dr. Dan Naim Comments on New Study which Finds Snoring is not Associated with Heart Disease or Premature Death

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Those who snore but do not have the sleep disorder sleep apnea are not at risk for premature death or heart disease, according to a world-first study published in the September edition of the journal Sleep. Board-Certified Sleep Medicine Specialist Dr. Dan Naim discusses the difference between snoring and sleep apnea, and when to consult a physician.

Snoring is a nuisance which can impact quality of life , but in many cases it does not indicate a more serious problem

A new study published in the September edition of the journal Sleep found that those who snore most of the night do not have an increased risk of death over a 17-year period, compared to people who only snore 12 percent of the night or less. The purpose of the study was to clarify the long-term complications of snoring and whether it was an independent risk factor of stroke. Although snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea, Los Angeles Sleep Specialist Dr. Dan Naim said it also occurs frequently in people who do not have the condition.

Snoring is a common occurrence which affects at least half of adults at least occasionally, and is caused by relaxation of the throat muscles, leading to the vibration of the soft tissues in the back of the airway. When snoring is loud and happens every night, it may be a sign of the condition sleep apnea Sleep apnea is a chronic sleep disorder where the throat tissues block the airway and stop a person from breathing repeatedly until the brain sends signals to wake up to resume breathing.

The study followed 380 people with a home sleep apnea and snoring monitoring device in 1990, and then ascertained the death and heart disease hospitalization rate during a follow-up in 2007. The results showed that snoring without having sleep apnea is not significantly tied to an increased risk of death, heart disease, or stroke.

Lead author Dr. Nathaniel Marshall from the Woolcock Institute and the University of Sydney Nursing School said that the good news of the moment is that snoring, by itself, does not significantly raise the risk of heart disease or premature death.

Sleep apnea is associated with a number of potential health complications, including heart disease, stroke, and obesity. Sleep apnea can be effectively diagnosed through a sleep study where the blood oxygen saturation levels, breathing, heart rate, and body movements are monitored to make a diagnosis. Los Angeles Sleep Specialist Dr. Dan Naim emphasized that sleep apnea should be taken seriously due to the possible health complications which can result.

“Snoring is a nuisance which can impact quality of life , but in many cases it does not indicate a more serious problem,” said Dr. Naim. “However, when a person frequently feels exhausted during the daytime, is forgetful, and wakes up with a dry mouth, it’s possible sleep apnea is the cause. Usually a bed partner will notice sleep apnea before the patient does, due to the frequent awakenings to gasp or snort for air.”

Although sleep apnea is a serious disorder, it can be effectively treated in a number of ways. The first line of defense against sleep apnea is the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device, which is a mask worn during sleep to keep the airway from collapsing. Other sleep apnea treatments, such as oral appliances or surgical procedures, may also be used to correct the anatomical structures of the mouth, nose, and throat.


About Dr. Dan Naim
Dr. Dan I. Naim is Board-Certified in the fields of Internal Medicine, Sleep Medicine, and Pulmonary Medicine. He completed medical school at the Drexel University College of Medicine and went on to fellowship-training in Internal Medicine at the UCLA-VA Internal Medicine Residency program. Dr. Naim completed a pulmonary and critical care fellowship with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Naim states that his interest in sleep medicine grew as he learned how the role of disturbed sleep could not only impair the quality of someone’s life, but also lead to extensive health problems. His time working in critical care has also shown him how a sleep disorder can lead to hospitalizations in the Intensive Care Unit if the disorder is left untreated. He believes deeply in patient care and education and fostering a partnership with his patients in order for them to achieve the best medical care possible.

About Los Angeles Sleep Study Institute
Los Angeles Sleep Study Institute has a team of highly trained specialists who use the most advanced medical technologies available to effectively diagnose sleep disorders. The team of dedicated professionals treats snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia and other sleep-related problems in a comfortable, professional and friendly environment. To learn more, call (818) 343-1569 or visit

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