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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2014 June;105(3):255-60

language: English

Impact of nasal continuous positive airway pressure on heart rhythm in patients with obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome

Pelechas E. 1, Doina A. 2

1 University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Iasi, Romania;
2 Department of Epidemiology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Iasi, Romania


AIM: A high incidence of nocturnal cardiac rhythm disturbances among patients with obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndro-me (OSAHS) has been described in some reports. We wished to examine the prevalence of arrhythmias in OSAHS patients and, in particular, to assess the impact of nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) therapy.
METHODS: Three hundred thirty-seven patients with suspected OSAHS; 261 men (77.4%) and 76 women (22.6%); 154 accepted to participate in a second polysomnographic check.
RESULTS: Mean age was 53.28±13.6 years. Mean Body Mass Index (BMI) 32.89±6.1 kg/m2. Found statistical significance between patients with normal-mild apnea/hypopnea index (AHI) and moderate to severe AHI (P<0.01). Also, found statistical significance between patients without and with the use of nCPAP (P<0.01). During periods of stable SpO2 there were no apparent oscillations on heart rate.
CONCLUSION: We demonstrated that the impact of nCPAP in patients suffering from OSAHS and heart arrhythmias is positive, helping those patients to have a better quality sleep and probably less cardiovascular risk in a long-term use of the nCPAP apparatus. Males are more prone to OSAHS and to develop tachycardias and bradycardias.

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