Sleep apnea is considered to be a serious medical condition. Complications such as high blood pressure or heart problems are well known in patients that suffer with sleep apnea. A study published on September 11, 2013 by the Oxford Centre for Respiratory Medicine states that the predictors of blood pressure fall with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
OSA is associated with high cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In the study, randomized controlled trials showed that, on average, treatment of OSA with CPAP treatment reduces blood pressure (BPI) by 3-5 mm Hg, although with considerable variation between individuals. The study of patients with moderate to severe OSA has shown that, after correction for a baseline 24hMBP, reduction in daytime sleepiness, and measures of obesity are the best predictors of reducing blood pressure following CPAP therapy for 6 months. Sleep fragmentation may be particularly important in the hypertension of sleep apneic individuals.
For the clinician, the message is that treating a typical patient with severe OSA produces clinically useful blood pressure reductions as well as yielding important symptomatic benefits.
For the patient, this is good news.