EKGs are now being considered as a regular part of health for women who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, as a 31% correlation has been found between women with OSA and cardiac symptoms resulting in heart problems.

What is OSA? It involves the slowing or stopping of breathing during sleep – it may involve just a few seconds, but could continue as long as a minute or more, and may occur just a few times per hour or every few minutes. The condition has been shown in clinical studies to result in cardiac problems.

This particular study involved a diverse group of women ranging from the young age of 15 all the way up to 45 years of age, and was conducted over the course of 7 years at a sleep center. Both data from the sleep lab and EKGs taken on a regular basis were considered.

Another connection was revealed between the occurrence of OSA and weight – women who were overweight were more likely to have breathing problems during their sleep and thus heart problems later on.

Age, race, and weight (specifically body mass index) were all considered as part of the study – it was revealed that over half of the women studied had a minor Apnea-Hyponia Index, and most of the women classified as having a mild case were in similar age, race and weight categories. The same was true of the nearly one fourth of women with a more severe condition.

In light of the results of this study it has been determined that regular EKGs are necessary for women who suffer from OSA and also exhibit some warning signs of future cardiac problems. Nearly one third of women in the high risk category will eventually suffer from such heart conditions – this is therefore a vital part of checkups.