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?