Sleep apnea is a disorder in which a person's breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. These interruptions, called apneas, can last from a few seconds to minutes, and they occur when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open. Heart attack is a serious condition in which the blood supply to the heart is blocked, often by a buildup of fatty deposits in the coronary arteries.
The association between sleep apnea and heart attacks is thought to be due to a number of factors. One is that sleep apnea can cause changes in the levels of certain hormones, such as adrenaline, which can increase the risk of heart attack. Additionally, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure and inflammation, both of which are risk factors for heart disease. Furthermore, sleep apnea can cause oxygen levels in the blood to drop, which can put extra stress on the heart.
In summary, sleep apnea can cause various physiological changes that can increase the risk of heart attacks. The recurrent episodes of apnea and hypoxia, along with the frequent arousal that occur during sleep with sleep apnea, lead to chronic stress on the cardiovascular system and increases the risk of coronary artery disease and heart attacks.