Obstructive sleep apnea has increasingly been linked to cardiovascular damage. More recently, the snoring component itself has been independently linked to the presence of carotid atheroma, via local arterial trauma. We aimed to identify whether a snoring history is a risk factor for carotid stenosis in individuals presenting with a TIA or ischemic stroke.
Participants in the Oxford Vascular Study (OXVASC) were asked about their snoring history as part of an entry questionnaire. In 561 individuals with a recent TIA or stroke, who had both a complete snoring questionnaire and carotid imaging, the relationship between presence and severity of snoring and the degree of carotid artery stenosis in both the symptomatic (culprit) and asymptomatic (non-culprit) sides.
Of 561 participants (287 male, mean/SD age = 73.3/11.0 years), 90 (16.0%) had ≥ 50% carotid stenosis, and 154 (27.5%) snored frequently (≥ 1-2 times/week). No significant associations were identified between frequency of self-reported snoring, and the degree of culprit and non-culprit carotid vessel stenosis, or plaque morphology.
No significant association could be identified between a history of frequent snoring and the presence of carotid atheroma, degree of stenosis, or plaque type.
Mason RH; Mehta Z; Fonseca AC; Stradling JR; Rothwell PM. Snoring and severity of symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid stenosis: a population-based study. SLEEP 2012;35(8):1147-1151.