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?