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The genetic link is definitely there, particularly for those who are not overweight or obese. My mother passed away as a result of fibroid disease in her lungs. She would not treat her apnea and suffered unecessarily as a result. Untreated apnea can result in hardening of the arteries which can cause the type of lung problems she had as well as her macular degeneration. Her mother also died of hardening of the arteries to the brain and an aunt died of related heart problems. Low HDL levels, which are now being seen as associated with apnea can result in hardened arteries. My HDL levels were low until I started treating my apnea with the CPAP. Since my apnea is rated as "severe" the options of surgery and dental devices currently may not provide the relief I would need. As long as the auto-PAP machine I am using treats my apnea I will continue to use it. I do hope that some of the new treatments being studied (electric stimulation of the throat muscles, for one) will provide the answer in the future for those of us with severe OSA. The Europeans seem to be way ahead of Americans in testing new ideas. It's time for us to play catch-up.

October 22, 2009 - 8:38am


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