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OSA – a risk factor for stroke

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Clodagh M RyanCentre for Sleep Health and Research, University of Toronto/Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, CanadaAbstract: Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep breathing disorder characterized by recurrent and intermittent hypoxia with continued respiratory effort against a closed glottis. The result of this is a cascade of acute and chronic systemic pathophysiological responses that cause endothelial dysfunction, atherosclerosis and lead to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. This article focuses on the clinical evidence linking obstructive sleep apnea and stroke and on the specific mechanisms perpetuating stroke risk in this population.Keywords: stroke, obstructive sleep apnea, brain injury, atherosclerosis, continuous positive airway pressure, outcomes

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