Improving Awareness of Sleep-Heart Associations and the Precursor Signs to Heart Issues: Richard Bogan, MD, FCCP, FAASM

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The medical director of SleepMed in South Carolina discussed the need for more overall awareness of poor sleep and the risk factors associated with worsened heart health. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"It’s critical to get the word out. We need to understand what’s happening biologically, in terms of sleep homeostasis, sleep wake processor, and how that’s controlled. What are the set points of heart rate and blood pressure? How are they modified? [We need to] Get the message out."

Over time, research has shown that sufficient sleep isn’t just important for energy levels, but critical for heart health, too. Sleep apnea, which occurs when airways are blocked repeatedly during sleep, can be caused by certain health problems, such as obesity and heart failure. Insomnia, or the inability to fall or stay asleep, is linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. Over time, poor sleep can also lead to unhealthy habits that can damage the heart, including higher stress levels, less motivation to be physically active, and unhealthy food choices.

Earlier this year, in March, Jazz Pharmaceuticals announced an expansion of its support of the American Heart Association to provide the sleep disorder community an in-depth understanding of the cardiovascular risks associated with these disorders. Through this initiative, the association aims to help people living with sleep disorders determine when professional help may be appropriate and healthcare professionals recognize ways to improve heart health for the patients they treat. In addition, the association will also convene a science advisory panel of health care providers, produce a series of patient videos, and form an alliance of multiple sleep-focused advocacy organizations to develop a resource toolkit to expand the reach of the campaign’s education.

Following the announcement, NeurologyLive® sat down with Richard Bogan, MD, FCCP, FAASM, medical director of SleepMed in South Carolina, to discuss the steps to improve heart health for those with sleep disorders. Bogan, who also serves as an associate professor of neurology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, provided perspective on the need to raise awareness of the specific cardiovascular risks associated with sleep disorders, and the difficulties with understanding how much a patient’s condition is attributed to their sleep disorder, heart health, or a mix of both.

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