You can in fact die from Obstructive Sleep Apnea
There's some interesting discussions on the various CPAP forums going on today related to a CNN news reporter who said that people dying from OSA is "Complete BullS***".
The transcript of the show can be read here, the relevant part is about a fifth down:
NANCY GRACE: They said that Johnny Grunge -- Mike Durham -- he wrestled under the name Johnny Grunge, very, very well-known -- died of sleep apnea. Please. Stop. That`s basically snoring, and you know, not breathing for a few seconds periodically through the night. You don`t die of sleep apnea. That is complete BS.
Apparently this wrestler had been on heavy medications which may have cause "respiratory depression".
The Executive Director of the American Sleep Apnea Association posted "Shame on Nancy Grace" on the Apnea Support Forums as well as on his blog. He clearly believes you can die directly and indirectly from sleep apnea and he is well qualified to make such a statement.
Not only is the health of the sufferer compromised with increased risk of cardiovascular disease,hypertension and metabolic syndrome (to mention only a few), but so is the health of bed partner and other members of the family.
In this CPAPTalk thread, members debate the semantics. Do you die from OSA or do you die from lack of oxygen to the brain? Do you die from a gunshot wound or from the blood lost from a shot wound? Do you die from drowning or from lack of oxygen?
However you want to call it, and whatever the cause was of this wrestler's death, you can die from obstructive sleep apnea, just like you can die from smoking. If smoking is the cause and lung cancer and subsequent death the effect, so is an airway blockage the cause of blood oxygen shortage and brain damage or death the subsequent end result.
For a news reporter to bluntly state, as fact, that it's complete bull's excrements when it's suggested someone might have died from OSA is very shortsighted and bordering on irresponsible.
Maybe the medications aggravated the airway collapse by relaxing of the muscles. Who knows? Maybe this man could have lived had he been diagnosed and treated. Then again, he could have died from many other things too.