Biden’s Stroke: Could It Be From Sleep Apnea?

Recent reports that Vice President Joe Biden's son Beau, attorney general of Delaware, suffered a small stroke brings up awareness of strokes in younger adults. Beau Biden is 41. Various reports and news articles go over all the routine risk factors for stroke, but surprisingly, never mention obstructive sleep apnea as a major risk factor. The Bidens have a history of cardiovascular disease, so this is not surprising. 

It's been shown that untreated sleep apnea can increase your risk of stroke by up to 3 times normal. Stroke patients are found to have obstructive sleep apnea in up to 80% of the time. We know that about 24% of men and 9% of women have at least some degree of obstructive sleep apnea, which increases significantly as you get older. Knowing all this, it's puzzling why doctors aren't routinely screening people with strokes for sleep apnea. 

What do you think about my proposal? Should all stroke patients be screened for sleep apnea? Even better, should everyone with cardiovascular disease be screened for sleep apnea?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “Biden’s Stroke: Could It Be From Sleep Apnea?

  1. I go one step further and say every person should be screened for sleep apnea. I believe you have also said this before.
    Anyone who has a physical exam should be screened at the time of the exam. They should be screened every five years and anytime they complain of, or exhibit symptoms of, sleep apnea.
    Given the high prevalence and devastating effects of sleep apnea, the cost of screening would be paid for many times over by preventing the downstream health conditions caused by undiagnosed sleep apnea.
    Biden should be screened immediately.

  2. I agree R.  I've come across a few pregnant women lately who have said their partners are complaining about their snoring.  It would be good to screen pregnant women too so the risks to their unborn are lessened.