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      Blood Pressure and Sleep Apnea: Results of Long-Term Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Therapy


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          Arterial blood pressure patterns in 12 men with sleep apnea and arterial hypertension were studied at baseline and after 6 months’ therapy with nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP). Preexisting antihypertensive medication was discontinued 1 week before baseline measurements. Weight did not change during the study period; body mass index was 29.3 (range, 25.4–38.5) vs. 29.3 (25.0–38.5). During therapy the apnea index decreased from 58 (range 30–73) to 2 (range 0–7) apneic episodes per hour (p < 0.01). Intra-arterial systolic (BP sys.) and diastolic (BP dias.) blood pressure and heart rate decreased during therapy (p < 0.001). Mean values ± 95 % confidence intervals were as follows: BP sys., 147.1 ( ± 1.6) mm Hg vs. 126.4 ( ± 1.5) mm Hg; BP dias., 81.6 ( ± 0.8) mm Hg vs. 69.4 ( ± 0.6) mm Hg; heart rate, 68.8 ( ± 0.7) beats/min vs. 65.4 ( ± 0.7) beats/min. Furthermore, the variability of these parameters decreased during therapy: variability BPsys.,53.8( ± 1.1) mm Hg vs. 25.6 ( ± 1.1) mm Hg; variability BP dias., 35.6 ( ± 0.7) mm Hg vs. 17.9 ( ± 0.7) mm Hg; variability of heart rate, 28.1 ( ± 0.7) beats/min vs. 14.9 ( ± 0.7) beats/min (p < 0.001). During treatment we found that blood pressure scores already dropped during the awake phase, with a further decrease during non-REM and REM sleep (p < 0.001). Our results, which demonstrate the reversibility of high blood pressure upon treatment of sleep apnea, indicate that sleep apnea can be an etiological factor in hypertension. Sleep apnea should therefore be considered in the differential diagnosis of arterial hypertension.

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          Author and article information

          S. Karger AG
          12 November 2008
          : 79
          : 2
          : 84-92
          Department of Medicine (Head: Prof. P. v. Wichert), Medizinische Poliklinik, Philipps-Universität, Marburg, FRG
          174864 Cardiology 1991;79:84–92
          © 1991 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

          : 20 June 1991
          : 24 June 1991
          Page count
          Pages: 9
          General Cardiology

          General medicine,Neurology,Cardiovascular Medicine,Internal medicine,Nephrology
          Blood pressure,Hypertension,Sleep apnea,Continuous positive airway pressure


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