By Sharon Bell
The numbers and statistics that will follow this sentence are somewhat alarming, but they truly demonstrate the need for individuals with sleep apnea and cardiovascular disorders to be compliant. While only approximately 5% of the population has obstructive sleep apnea, the prevalence of OSA in individuals with coronary heart disease (CHD) fluctuates between 30–60% and nearly 70% for men with acute myocardial infarction (MI)!
OSA and cardiovascular disease commonly co-aggregate, meaning they are often noted as a cause and effect for each disorder. Multiple studies indicate that OSA contributes to or exacerbates cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, resistant hypertension, stroke and atrial fibrillation. Several studies have been performed in recent years on the effects of long-term continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy in helping to control both OSA and cardiovascular disorders.
Here is a brief outline of what these studies found:
- Treatment with CPAP for more than three months was found to reduce systolic blood pressure on average by 2 to 5 mmHg.
- Long-term cardiovascular morbidity and mortality increases in patients with untreated OSA. Patients diagnosed with severe sleep apnea which was treated with CPAP, showed cardiovascular improvements after 10 years of compliance.
- OSA has been identified as a risk factor for insulin resistance, but recent studies show that CPAP therapy has been associated with improved insulin sensitivity on individuals with OSA.
CPAP therapy is still relatively new and the treatment has become more affordable and increasingly prescribed just in recent years. Although additional studies are sure to be done on the effectiveness of CPAP in lowering cardiovascular diseases and risk, it is safe to say that CPAP compliance is the key to both feeling better and being more healthy.
For more information on CPAP treatment and supplies, visit sleepapnea.aeroflowinc.com.