Thursday, October 14, 2010

Treatment Found to Reduce Heart Failure in Sleep Apnea Patients

A new study in the journal Sleep and Breathing found that sleep apnea treatment reduced the risk of death and hospitalization in advanced heart failure (HF) patients.
The study included 18 patients with advanced HF and sleep apnea. All patients were stable for at least three months at the study start. They were 18 to 80 years of age. Five patients were women and 13 were men.
Eleven patients underwent CPAP therapy. They used CPAP for at least four hours per night, 70 percent of nights.

The remaining seven patients refused treatment after a two-week trial with CPAP. They were called the control group.

Follow-up occurred every two months for a 12-month period. The researchers compared death and hospitalizations due to heart failure during this time.

Two patients, or 18 percent, of the CPAP group were hospitalized. In contrast, four patients, or 57 percent, of the control group were hospitalized.

All of the treated patients survived. Two of the seven patients who did not receive treatment, or 28 percent, died.

The researchers concluded that sleep apnea treatment had a positive impact on cardiac function, exercise tolerance, and quality of life six months into the study. They found that heart function remained improved after 12 months.

CPAP is a common sleep apnea treatment, but 25 to 50 percent of patients cannot tolerate it. Oral appliances are an alternative treatment offered by dentists.

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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.