Snoring, the most common symptom of sleep apnea, has been linked to systemic hypertension. The relationship between sleep-disordered breathing, obesity and hypertension is well documented.
Recent evidence suggests that OSA may also be an important contributor in the development of coronary heart disease, stroke, cardiac arrhythmia, and congestive heart failure, because about one half of all patients with coronary heart disease, stroke and congestive heart failure have OSA.
The sympathetic nervous system is activated acutely during OSA as a result of chemoreceptor discharges with changes in blood gasses and pH, arousals from sleep, and sleep deprivation all these contribute to high BP.
The more severe the OSA, the higher the blood pressure levels and the greater the prevalence of high BP. The more severe the OSA, the more difficult it becomes to control blood pressure levels with medications. Some evidence exists that habitual snoring, especially loud frequent snoring, even without OSA is associated with elevated blood pressure levels during the night and day, and that treatment with CPAP can lower blood pressure levels.
(Systemic hypertension occurs in most patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea.Dr.Thomas explains the pathophysiology of Essential Hypertension in OSA.)