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Treating Sleep Apnea Can Reverse Heart Deterioration

Treating Sleep Apnea Can Reverse Heart Deterioration

(ePharmaNews) Snoring in no longer your partner's problem, as a new study has found that treating sleep apnea, which commonly accompanies snoring, can rapidly prevent heart functions' deteriorating.

Sleep apnea is a common disease that results in episodes of several seconds of no breathing during the night, it can be treated effectively with a simple device that regulates the pressure within airways and keep them open. The treatment, called "CPAP", can decrease the symptoms of fatigue and sleepiness that accompany the disease.

 In this study, a team of researchers from Birmingham, UK, evaluated the function and structure of the cardiac muscle in 40 patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea, and then they compared it to 40 patients with hypertension and 40 normal individuals.

The results, which were published yesterday in Circulation, showed that apnea patients had a significant deterioration in the heart functions that resembles what happened in hypertensive patients, and this deterioration vanished completely after six months of the initiation of the sleep apnea therapy.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to provide a comprehensive assessment of left ventricular structural and functional parameters using advanced echocardiograms in otherwise healthy apnea patients,” said Gregory Y. H. Lip, M.D., a researcher at the University of Birmingham Center for Cardiovascular Sciences in Birmingham, U.K. “Our findings imply that Obstructive Sleep Apnea OSA could be crucial in the development of left ventricular diastolic dysfunction that can lead to heart failure and increased mortality if left untreated.”

“OSA patients may have cardiac abnormalities that often are undetected, but will improve with CPAP,” Lip said. “Patients also need to understand that OSA is not a benign disorder, but that their risk of heart problems can be easily treated with CPAP.”

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Prepared by: Houssam Nahhas

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