Researchers Recommend Use Of CPAP Machines To Prevent Heart Attack Risk in OSA Patients

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European researchers recommend using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine at night for individuals with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) to reduce the risk of heart-related fatalities, potentially combating both snoring and heart issues simultaneously.

CPAP improves sleep quality in OSA patients

OSA is a disorder characterized by intermittent interruptions in breathing while asleep, marked by symptoms like loud snoring and frequent nocturnal awakenings. The condition not only causes fatigue but also increases the chances of developing conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and stroke.

CPAP devices are commonly prescribed for individuals with OSA to improve their sleep quality. These devices function by delivering air through a user-worn mask, maintaining open airways during sleep.

Dr. Jordi de Batlle, a researcher from Spain’s Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Lleida, conducted a study involving 3,638 OSA patients in Catalonia that discontinued their CPAP machine use in 2011. They were compared to an equal number of OSA patients who continued CPAP treatment. The study revealed that those who persisted with CPAP had a 40% lower risk of all-cause mortality, a 36% lower risk of death from heart conditions, and an 18% reduced likelihood of hospitalization due to heart-related issues.

According to Dr. de Batlle CPAP treatment can significantly benefit OSA patients by preventing cardiovascular problems, in addition to its known benefits of reducing sleepiness and improving quality of life. The findings underscore the importance of encouraging OSA patients to continue using their CPAP machines.

CPAP reduces arterial plaque accumulation

In a preliminary pilot study conducted by Dr. Cliona O’Donnell at St. Vincent’s University Hospital and University College Dublin, the effectiveness of CPAP was examined in comparison to a weight loss medication named liraglutide. The study suggested that patients treated with CPAP showed reduced arterial plaque accumulation and decreased inflammation in their main artery.

Dr. O’Donnell explains that CPAP maintains open airways during sleep, preventing oxygen level fluctuations that worsen cardiovascular disease. He acknowledges this pilot study’s limitations but notes positive early signs of cardiovascular disease improvement with CPAP. Larger studies should explore these findings further.

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