Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Heart Research Pumps Blood Into Sleep Apnea Awareness

A new study examined whether obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with heart failure or coronary heart disease (CHD). The study was published online by the journal Circulation.

The trial, known as the Sleep Heart Health Study (SHHS), followed patients who were free of these conditions at baseline. It included 1,927 men and 2,495 women. Participants were 40 years of age or more.

In the study, 24 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women had severe OSA.

In men under 70 years of age, OSA was a significant predictor of CHD and CHD-related death. Among men 40 to 70 years of age, those with severe OSA were 68 percent more likely to develop CHD than men without OSA.

The association between OSA and heart disease was weaker in this study than in past research. Previous studies suggested an increased risk of CHD-related death from OSA in people ages 30 to 50. The researchers suggest that this risk might be greatest at a relatively young age.

Results indicated that men with severe OSA have almost 60 percent higher risk than men without OSA of developing heart failure.

"It’s really time for us to perform clinical trials to assess whether CHD risk can be reduced in patients with severe sleep apnea by treating the apnea,” Gottlieb says.

Despite these high numbers, evidence shows that OSA may increase the risk of stroke more than the risk of CHD. In April, this blog reported research from the SHHS, which indicated that OSA doubles the risk of stroke in men.

"The take-away from our study is that obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition that warrants medical treatment," said lead author Dr Daniel Gottlieb.

"It’s important for anyone who suspects they have obstructive sleep apnea to discuss it with their primary-care physician."

Doctors at accredited sleep centers can test for OSA: http://sleepcenters.org/.

Source: Medscape

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.