Hypertension and OSA
Did You Know That Nearly 25% Of All Deaths In The United States Are A Result Of Heart Disease?
Scary statistic! And more frightening is the fact that there are many possible precursors for heart disease. As a disorder affecting between 50 and 70 million Americans, with 80% not even diagnosed, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) causes undeniable stress to the body as its victims frequently struggle for air while they sleep. Therefore, the relationship between hypertension (high blood pressure) and OSA has been the subject of extensive and numerous studies.
Hypertension is the underlying cause of most heart failure. There is a direct correlation between the presence of sleep apnea in an individual and his or her chance of developing high blood pressure. A number of studies published in Sleep Medicine Review illustrate a strong relationship between the severity of sleep apnea and hypertension.
The apnea hypopnea index (AHI) is used to determine the severity of sleep apnea based on the total number of episodes during the night where breathing stops due to complete or partial obstruction of the sufferer’s airway. Research also demonstrated that the relationship between untreated OSA and hypertension could result in heart failure. As a result, the most common treatment for OSA, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) has been studied for its effect on hypertension and heart disease.
OSA treatment Helps
As far back as 2000, a national multi-center study conducted research on the possible connection between individuals with sleep apnea and their increased risk for having or developing high blood pressure, which leads to heart disease. The research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association confirmed that adults, middle-aged and older, suffering from moderate to severe sleep apnea could expect a rise in their blood pressure.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine analyzed whether or not an individual with OSA could lower his or her high blood pressure with consistent CPAP usage. Researchers discovered that 13% of OSA patients treated with CPAP were able to reduce their high blood pressure within 3 months after receiving CPAP treatment, in comparison to 1% of the control group. Although studies continue to be undertaken regarding the effectiveness of the CPAP procedure in treating hypertension and heart disease as associated with sleep apnea, current evidence is sufficient to conclude that there is a definite and direct correlation.
It is important for those who have OSA, or believe they do, not to hesitate in seeking treatment as there is more at stake than just a good night of sleep. Or if you have hypertension, find out whether or not you also have sleep apnea. Contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 or schedule a free consultation when it’s convenient for you.