Is Snoring a DiZZZease?

Nighttime noises may serve as a wake-up call for future illness

4:23pm, September 13, 2002

Snoring is one of those problems obvious to everyone but the person with the problem. Most snorers are oblivious to the rasping, grating noises they make. After all, they're asleep. The next morning, however, snorers can suffer. They may find themselves unpopular among housemates, even in their own families. Many heavy snorers become the butt of unkind jokes.

Snoring severe enough to cause sleeplessness can lead to daytime drowsiness. Few people, whether they snore themselves or simply live with a person who snores, recognize that snoring may have serious medical consequences as well.

Over the past 20 years, a growing number of studies has linked snoring to heart disease and stroke, says Robert W. Clark of the Regional Sleep Disorders Center at the Columbus (Ohio) Community Hospital. Just over half the studies looking for such a connection have found one.

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