Can sleep apnea cause death? In extreme cases, the answer is yes.
Sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder in terms of mortality. It occurs in both genders, and at all ages, but is especially prevelant in middle-age men.
Babies who are born premature are at a high risk for sleep apnea. Apneas are more frequent and longer in premature newborns than full-term infants. Babies with this sleep disorder must be followed closely because it is possible for death to occur if they stop breathing all together.
Sleep apnea is sometimes implicated in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also called crib death.
Sleep apnea with snoring seems to increase the likelihood of having a variety of cardiovascular diseases which can lead to death. These inlcude high blood pressure, ischemic heart disease (a condition caused by reduced blood supply to the heart muscle), cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeat rhythm), and cerebral infarction (blood clot in the brain).
If you think that you may be suffering from this sleep disorder, it is important to get checked by your physician. He or she can find a sleep apnea treatment that is right for you.