Sleep Apnea And Pulmonary Embolism

Here's another link that solidifies the connections in my sleep-breathing paradigm: Researchers found that people who have pulmonary embolism (PE) have a much higher change of having undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea. Pulmonary embolism is a condition where blood clots from your lower legs or other parts of your body travel into your lungs and get stuck, preventing you from breathing properly. In their study of hospitalized patients suspected of having pulmonary embolism, those that were found to have pulmonary embolism were more likely to snore (75% vs, 50%) and have obstructive sleep apnea (65% vs. 36%) compared with those that did not have pulmonary embolism. PE was found to be independently associated with the risk of obstructive sleep apnea (odds ratio = 2.78).

All this makes sense, since we know that obstructive sleep apnea creates conditions in your bloodstream that promotes stagnation, inflammation, and clotting. In addition, we also know that the blood itself in sleep apnea patients are much thicker (viscous), making it easier to clot when stagnant. 

With sleep apnea, there are various levels of potential clotting, from larger vessels like the carotid artery and deep veins in the legs, to to small vessels in the gut or in the brain. 

If you know anyone who suffered from a pulmonary embolus, does that person snore?

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4 thoughts on “Sleep Apnea And Pulmonary Embolism

  1. i had a pulmonary embolism 6 week ago and i still have sleep apnea am i still at risk from developing another embolism.I was put on Warfarin to thin out blood regards Patrick massey.

  2. I was directed to this article from someone in my PE/DVT support group. I have all the classic symptoms of sleep apnea but I have not been diagnosed. I suffered a DVT/PE late last year and have been on blood thinning medication since. As of today the doctors still don’t know what cause my PE/DVT. I’m going to talk to my doctor as I believe this may be a major contributing factor. Thank you for this article!