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New studies add to evidence that CPAP helps the heart

Filed in
  • heart disease
  • CPAP
  • Sleep apnea

Sleep Education Archive  |  Jul 13, 2007
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New studies provide more good news for people who use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. Results show that using CPAP to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is good for the heart.

A study in the journal Chest found benefits when CPAP is used four or more hours per night for six months. It reduces certain risk factors for heart disease, including total cholesterol.

The study group comprised 53 adults in Greece. Their average age was 46 years. Each participant was recently diagnosed with OSA. The study was published online on June 15 before coming out in print. Chest is published by the American College of Chest Physicians.

Another study in the journal Hypertension examined the effect of CPAP on blood pressure. Researchers analyzed the results of 16 randomized clinical trials. The studies involved a total of 818 people with OSA. Results of the analysis show that CPAP reduces blood pressure in people with OSA. It also may help prevent high blood pressure.

The study was published online on June 4 before coming out in print. Hypertension is published by the American Heart Association.

OSA is a common sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing up to hundreds of times per night. The pauses in breathing can cause both drastic changes in your oxygen levels and frequent arousals that fragment your sleep. This puts an enormous strain on your heart and can lead to an increase in your heart rate.

OSA has been linked to such problems as heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes. A previous study in Chest showed that using CPAP makes a person with OSA less likely to die from heart disease. CPAP users also had reduced rates of heart failure, high blood pressure and stroke.

Last year a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that OSA even affects the shape of your heart. The hearts of people with OSA were enlarged on one side and had thickened walls. The study also showed that six months of CPAP therapy produced improvements in heart shape and size.

CPAP is the most common and effective treatment for OSA. It provides a steady stream of air to patients through a mask that they wear during sleep. This airflow keeps the airway open, preventing pauses in breathing and restoring normal oxygen levels.

1 Comment

  1. 1 Dipankar 18 Jul
    Man O Day! I feel for you! Try reading in bed. Maybe you will sneak into a dose, and get a lttlie sleep. I know what you mean about lack of sleep, it can mess you up. Try watching TV, and maybe you will dose off. Get a heating pad and put it on low, and maybe the heat will comfort you, and you may sleep a lttlie. Also make a rice bag,(look up Rice Bag on a Search engine, and it will tell you how to make one). Heat can be a comfort. Then see if you can find a good holistic doctor, he may have some natural answers instead of drugs that may help. At least one of these suggestions may help you. Good Luck! arum