CPAP Treatment for Sleep Apnea might deflect Heart Failure

Stethoscope - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - UK researchers found that six months of using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea (OSA) patients could improve their heart function. The use of the CPAP equipment to treat sleep apnea may help to protect against heart failure. The study was published in Circulation: Heart Failure, a journal from the American Heart Association.

The UK researchers found that moderate to severe OSA patients had changes to their heart’s shape and function. The researchers equated the changes to being similar to the results of chronic hypertension. Other changes noticed with the OSA patients were thickening of the heart wall and a reduction in the ability for the heart to pump.

The study evaluated 40 patients with moderate to severe OSA to 40 people with high blood pressure, and to 40 healthy people.

The OSA patients had abnormal cardiac structural changes as well as in how the heart performed. The changes were similar to a person with chronic high blood pressure, however, the OSA patients only showed moderate elevation in blood pressure measurements.

After six months of using CPAP equipment to treat the sleep apnea, the heart abnormalities returned to near-normal.

Gregory Y. H. Lip, M.D., a researcher at the University of Birmingham Center for Cardiovascular Sciences in Birmingham, U.K said, "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to provide a comprehensive assessment of left ventricular structural and functional parameters using advanced echocardiograms in otherwise healthy apnea patients."

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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