Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Is Sleep Apnea the Chief Risk Factor for Coronary Artery Disease?

We have long known that sleep apnea increases a person's risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) and other cardiopulmonary conditions. However, a study presented last week at the European Respiratory Society's 2010 Annual Congress last week shows that of all the associated risk factors, obstructive sleep apnea may be the most common. The results come from the Swedish Randomized Intervention with CPAP in Coronary Artery Disease and Sleep Apnoea [sic] (RICCADSA) trial.

In the study population, 64% of those with CAD had obstructive sleep apnea. This was higher than hypertension (58%) and obesity (28%), commonly recognized risk factors for CAD. However, However, the population that had sleep apnea also tended to have a number of other conditions. The average body mass of sleep apnea patients with CAD was 29.4 vs. 25.5 for those without sleep apnea, and CAD patients with sleep apnea were nearly six times more likely to be obese. Sleep apnea patients were more likely to have hypertension (61% vs. 48%), diabetes (25% vs. 13%), and atrial fibrillation (20% vs. 9%).

Surprisingly, the trial also found a high adherence with CPAP treatment for sleep apnea. Nearly 70% of all patients remained on CPAP at one-year follow-ups.

However, not everyone is comfortable with CPAP, and if you have been prescribed CPAP but are finding it difficult to keep on the treatment, oral appliance therapy may be for you. To learn more about this CPAP alternative, please contact IHateCPAP today.

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posted by Dr. Candelaria at 1:41 PM