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Sleep Apnea Treatment Lowers High Blood Pressure - Link Between Heart Disease Found in Half of Patients - Combined Therapies Best

June 7th 2006

Sleep Apnea Treatment Lowers High Blood Pressure - Link Between Heart Disease Found in Half of Patients - Combined Therapies Best


There is a link between sleep apnea and heart disease.  It has been recommended that people with heart disease get tested for sleep apnea and combine treatments if it is discovered that they have the sleeping disorder.  In a study presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference on May 22nd, researchers will present evidence that using a Constant Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine can “significantly” reduce blood pressure. 

Dr. Daniel Norman says “Sleep apnea can have significant consequences on a person's physical health, and this study shows once again that treatment may lessen those risks."  Norman is lead researcher and Fellow in Pulmonary and Critical Care at the University of California San Diego Medical Center.

Sleep apnea is a condition where sleepers continually awaken during the night because the upper airway narrows, or collapses during sleep.  Since it occurs during sleep, people are unaware it is happening.


The study included 46 patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea.  The researchers randomly assigned either CPAP treatment or a “fake CPAP or supplemental nighttime oxygen through a face mask.”  All of the patients were hooked up to 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitors.  These are small machines strapped to the patient’s torso with an attached arm cuff. 

The ambulatory blood pressure monitors automatically measured the patient’s blood pressure throughout the day.  After two weeks, the patients who received the real CPAP had a significant reduction in blood pressure during the day and night.  The researchers found that nighttime oxygen therapy did not affect blood pressure.


"There has been some controversy over how sleep apnea causes elevated blood pressure," Dr. Norman said. "Doctors don't know if it is due to drops in oxygen levels or arousals from sleep. Our study indicated that correcting drops in oxygen levels alone may not be enough to reduce blood pressure."

It is estimated that about half of heart failure patients have sleep apnea, but only 5 percent are tested for it. Researchers have found that when oxygen levels drop during apnea episodes, adrenaline spikes.  This causes the heart to start racing and blood pressure increases.


According to a report by Ivanhoe Newswire, heart patients have seen improvements after starting CPAP therapy.  Sleep specialist Rami Khayat, M.D., of the Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, said “These patients have improvements in their heart function.”  In fact, patients have reported 10-percent to 30-percent improvements since the program started.

We had this comment on the article:

I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. The DR. said the throat loses it's elasticity with age (66 at the time), and the tongue slides south to block the throat, blocking needed air.
I was sent home with one of those machines ($350) to wear during the night to try out. Big mistake. I ended up pulling out all the tubes coming out of this contraption while sleeping. As you might expect, he wasn't to thrilled with me.
Some time later to try and eliminate another problem I had had for 35 years (sinus infections 4 or 5 a year at the end) . I had no success trying anything and everything prescribed by every ENT in the metro Denver area. The only thing that would help for a month or two was antibiotics, then I would have another infection.
Finally after seeing an x-ray of my sinus cavities from the front one day, it was evident that the top teeth were in very close proximity. I had already read where the teeth can cause many health problems, and that Amalgam filled teeth, and Root Canals were primary in this respect. I decided to take the chance, and had all the Root Canals removed, and all the amalgam fillings replaced with composite materials that were compatible with my system. Within 3 or 4 weeks my sinus problems begin to get better, and eventually were eliminated. That was 5 years ago.
  • In addition, the following problems were also eliminated:
    Sleep Apnea
  • Arthritis - Right hip area. couldn't walk more than 3 or 4 blocks without stopping.
  • Fibromyalgia - right shoulder, right shoulder that sent pain up the back of my head
  • Tinnitus - Ringing in the ears.
  • As well as a few other (not diagnosed) aggravations.
True story. Now I am in the process of correcting all the damage all those antibiotics caused. My advice, stay away from doctors whenever you can, and look for alternative methods for your health problems.
Ed Jones
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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:51 PM