This study describes associations between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), intake of food rich in antioxidant nutrients, and ischemic heart disease (IHD) in military veterans. Subjects were male veterans (n=211), 54 to 85 years of age, and enrolled in primary care clinics at the Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System (SAVAHCS), Tucson, AZ. Measures included the SAVAHCS Minority Vascular Center Questionnaire, the Sleep Heart Health Study Sleep Habits Questionnaire, the Arizona Food Frequency Questionnaire, height, weight, and blood pressure. Veterans with OSA were significantly more likely to be obese, to have elevated systolic blood pressure and physician-diagnosed IHD, more likely to undergo coronary angiography, and less likely to consume foods rich in cardioprotective antioxidants compared to veterans without OSA. After adjusting for confounding variables, the association between OSA and IHD remains significant [adjusted OR=2.99, confidence interval (CI)=1.07-8.42]. These data reinforce the importance of recognizing OSA within the veterans affairs health care system and suggest that early detection of OSA may improve veterans' health and well-being and reduce associated medical costs.