(HealthDay News) – For women, snoring is associated with a modest increased risk of stroke, coronary heart disease (CHD), and cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Megan Sands, PhD, from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues analyzed data from 42,244 postmenopausal women participating in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. Snoring habits at baseline (1993–1998) were self-reported and participants were followed through August 2009.

During 437,899 person-years of follow-up, the researchers identified 2,401 incident cases of CHD. Frequent snoring correlated with incident CHD (hazard ratio [HR], 1.54), stroke (HR, 1.41), and all CVD (HR, 1.46), after adjustment for age and race. After adjustment for CVD risk factors, including obesity, hypertension, and diabetes, frequent snoring correlated with smaller, but still significant, increases in incident CHD (HR, 1.14), stroke (HR, 1.19), and CVD (HR, 1.12).

“In conclusion, snoring is associated with a modest increased risk of incident CHD, stroke, and CVD after adjustment for CVD risk factors,” the authors write. “Additional studies are needed to elucidate the mechanisms by which snoring might be associated with CVD risk factors.”

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