Severe Sleep Apnea Shows Impact On Resistant High Blood Pressure Risk

By on August 19, 2014

A new study has shown a strong relationship between severe sleep apnea, which is left untreated and resistant high blood pressure, even after using medications for controlling high blood pressure.

Patients with established cardiovascular diseases, or who had risk factors of developing cardiovascular diseases and also had moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea were involved in this study.

Severe Sleep Apnea And High Blood Pressure RiskAmong the participant, who were prescribed at least three medications to control high blood pressure, which is even included a diuretic, resistant high blood pressure was more prevalent in participants with participants who had severe OSA, which is 58.3% when compared to participants with moderate OSA which is 28.6%.

On further analysis, it was found that odds of having resistant elevated blood were 4 times more in participants with severe OSA, which was left untreated even after adjusting for potential confounders, which included cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, BMI, and smoking status. The adjusted odd ratio is equal to 4.12.

Dr. Harneet Walia is the first author of this study, and is also an assistant professor at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. She said that according to the finding of their study severe obstructive sleep apnea results in poor control of blood pressure even after taking aggressive antihypertensive medications.

She further added that their findings are important from a clinical perspective because a person with poor control over blood pressure even after taking multiple antihypertensive medications is more susceptible to increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.

The results of the study were published in American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s August 15th issue of Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler is the President of American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He said that having uncontrollable high blood pressure even after taking treatment with antihypertensive medication is a warning sign of severe obstructive sleep apnea.

He added that obstructive sleep apnea is found in 1/3rd of hypertension patients, and in 8 out of 10 patients who are having hypertension that is resistant to treatment. Therefore hypertension patients should talk about risk of sleep apnea with doctor.

Analyzing of data was done from the baseline examination of the Heart Biomarker Evaluation in Apnea Treatment (HeartBEAT) study.

This is a four-site randomized controlled trail, which consisted of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea affected patients who were undergoing management of cardiovascular diseases. 284 participants were involved in this analysis, and 73 of them were prescribed with antihypertensive regimen.

Dr. Harneet Walia said that even after taking close of these participants with the help of cardiologists, and maintaining national guidelines for cardiovascular risk treatment, the impact of severe versus moderate obstructive sleep apnea was seen on suboptimal control of blood pressure.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are about 36 millions of American adults who are having hypertension don’t have control over their blood pressure. And according to American Academy of Sleep Medicine 80% of the patients who have hypertension that is resistant to treatment with medications have obstructive sleep apnea.