Friday, June 10, 2011

Sleep apnea and the involuntary siesta

Consequences for hypertension. (Via Clinical Cases and Images).

Primary source: BMJ research article:

Results 277 (81%) of the 340 patients randomised were men; the patients had a mean age of 52.4 (SD 10.5) years, a body mass index of 31.9 (5.7), an Epworth sleepiness scale score of 10.1 (4.3), an apnoea-hypopnoea index of 43.5 (24.5). No differences between groups were seen at baseline. Compared with placebo and analysed by intention to treat, the mean 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure of the CPAP group decreased by 1.5 (95% confidence interval: 0.4 to 2.7) mm Hg (P=0.01). The mean 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring measures decreased by 2.1 mm Hg (0.4 to 3.7) mm Hg (P=0.01) for systolic pressure and 1.3 (0.2 to 2.3) mm Hg (P=0.02) for diastolic blood pressure. Mean nocturnal blood pressure decreased by 2.1 (0.5 to 3.6) mm Hg (P=0.01).

Though statistically significant the magnitude of the effect was small and the authors were circumspect about the clinical significance. Patients with more severe symptoms, which were excluded from this study, may derive greater antihypertensive effect.

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