While there’s no consensus on the belief that primary snoring is an independent cardiovascular risk factor, plenty of evidence does show that snoring interferes with the health and well-being of the snorer. A 2015 study of more than eight million Americans found that snorers get less sleep per night (approximately 11 minutes, or more than an hour less per week) than non-snorers and experience 11.5 days of insufficient sleep per month, compared with 7.6 days for non-snorers. The study also found “significant associations between the presence of snoring and coronary artery disease” that persisted after adjusting for age, sex, smoking status, marital status, and body mass index (Laryngoscope. 2015;125:2413–2416).
Still, most individuals who turn to otolaryngologists for snoring treatment are seeking help because their snoring annoys a bed partner. It’s incumbent on otolaryngologists to educate snorers about the possible health implications of snoring even as they work with the patient to find possible solutions.
“There’s still no cure for snoring, but if we attack snoring from multiple angles, it can be managed to the point that most people find it satisfactory,” Dr. Gillespie said.