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CPAP: It’s not just for snoring

by / Thursday, 02 February 2012 / Published in Sleep Apnea and CPAP

CPAP: It’s not just for snoring

If you have a doctor prescribed CPAP machine, here’s a few excellent new reasons to stay compliant. A recent study indicates that CPAP use is connected with a decrease in blood pressure and body mass index.

The benefits of CPAP are a no brainer. For one, your CPAP machine relieves airway obstruction and keeps you breathing steadily through the night. Aside, most people find that they don’t snore anymore after they begin using CPAP. The bottom line is that CPAP allows your body to get a better night of rest.

Everyone knows that a good rest is connected with good health, right?

In fact, a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that CPAP therapy actually reduces the symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

Defined by WebMD, metabolic syndrome is a collection of risk factors that can lead to heart disease and diabetes. Among the risk factors are high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and high levels of abdominal fat. As many as 47 million people in the US are affected by metabolic syndrome: a number that averages out to be 1 in 6 Americans.

By comparison, it is estimated that about 70-80% of individuals with Obstructive Sleep Apnea have metabolic syndrome. Obstructive sleep apnea leads to nocturnal oxygen desaturation and the release of sympathetic hormones, which contribute to metabolic issues.

But the study conducted by Dr. Surendra Sharma (All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi) offers great news: CPAP use is connected with a decrease in abdominal fat, body mass index, glycated hemoglobin, lipids, and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Why the weight loss? In layman’s terms, the authors of the study suggest that the reduction in abdominal fat could be a result of an increase in daytime energy levels and daytime activity, because CPAP users get better rest at night. The authors also speculate that CPAP use has an effect on leptin levels, which are elevated in individuals with OSA. Both factors could help thin out your waistline.

You can read more about the study in this article on heartwire, or access the study directly at the New England Journal of Medicine.