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Abu Dhabi doctors urge snorers to undergo heart screenings
By A Staff Reporter September 12, 2018
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ABU DHABI: Cardiologists at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi recommend that people who snore frequently, and those suffering from obesity, uncontrolled hypertension and diabetes, should be screened for atrial fibrillation – a type of heart abnormality that is common in the Gulf region.

“In the past, frequent snoring has always been seen as a nuisance and nothing to trouble a doctor about,” says Dr Khalid Al Muti, a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Heart & Vascular Institute. “However, it is possible that it could be a sign of future heart problems.”

The call comes as part of Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month in September, a global campaign designed to raise awareness of this complex condition.

Atrial fibrillation (also called AFib or AF), is a quivering or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that affects millions of people worldwide, including in the Gulf region. The condition can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

According to Dr Al Muti, extremely loud snoring is often a symptom of a condition known as sleep apnoea where the muscles in the back of the throat relax so much during sleep that breathing is disrupted, increasing the strain on the heart which in turn can cause atrial fibrillation.

“As well as loud and frequent snoring, symptoms of atrial fibrillation can also include an irregular and fast heartbeat, chest discomfort, shortness of breath and fatigue,” Dr Al Muti adds. “What is more concerning, however, is that some patients may not experience much in terms of symptoms. In some of those, the first sign of the disease is a stroke that may be very disabling.”

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