Sleep apnea and cardiac diseaseObstructive sleep apnea has been independently associated with an increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias, hypertension, heart failure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and coronary artery disease. A large percentage of patients with sleep apnea will remain undiagnosed.
Sleep-disordered breathing has been associated with various forms of cardiovascular disease:
- Individuals with severe sleep disordered breathing are 2-4 times more likely to develop complex arrhythmias than those without sleep disordered breathing
- Individuals with diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea are 2-3 times more likely to develop hypertension
- The prevalence of sleep apnea in patients with heart failure is estimated to be 40-70%
- Individuals with diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to suffer a stroke than those without obstructive sleep apnea
Some studies have indicated the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea can positively impact heart failure. Effective treatment of obstructive sleep apnea resulted in improved heart function in heart failure patients with obstructive sleep apnea. It was also noted that significant improved quality of life of heart failure patients whose sleep apnea was effectively treated.
Appropriate treatment of obstructive sleep apnea has been associated with the reduction of atrial fibrillation reoccurrence after a cardioversion. Untreated sleep apnea is associated with the increased rate of recurrence of atrial fibrillation and increase the severity of nocturnal oxygen desaturation.
Patients with untreated sleep apnea were 2.5 times more likely to suffer a fatal cardiovascular event compared to those whose obstructive sleep apnea was treated with CPAP.