Friday, October 22, 2010

Use CPAP, Limit Heart Failure Risk

It may not seem like it, but how you deal with sleep apnea is a life-or-death decision. CPAP therapy can help you avoid heart failure, and reduce your risk of death.

A study published in the October issue of Sleep and Breathing looked at how patients with heart problems and sleep apnea responded to CPAP treatment.

The study included 18 patients had suffered advanced heart failure at least three months before the start of the study. Eleven patients elected to use CPAP for at least four hours per night, 70 percent of nights. The remaining seven patients were part of the control group because they refused treatment after a two-week trial with CPAP.

During follow-up every two months, researchers compared death and hospitalizations from heart failure. The study lasted a year.

Overall heart function improved after 12 months for the CPAP patients. The authors of the study report treatment had a noticeable positive impact on exercise tolerance and quality of life after only six months.

Two of the eleven patients who used CPAP were hospitalized during that time, but neither died.

Among the control group, four of the seven patients were hospitalized and two died.
Though it can save lives, the reality is some people may never accept CPAP. The study demonstrates why you should never leave sleep apnea untreated.

If CPAP doesn’t work for you, consult a sleep specialist at an AASM-accredited sleep center, and ask about alternatives such as oral appliance therapy or surgery.

No comments:

Post a Comment