Know About Sleep Apnea And Atrial Fibrillation Relationship

By on May 19, 2015

It has been shown by a very small study that the patients of atrial fibrillation should always be tested for sleep apnea using polysomnography in place of portable diagnostic techniques.

This is due to the fact that portable techniques can underestimate the occurrence of apnea in patients suffering from atrial fibrillation.

There is some kind of a relationship between sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a condition of abnormal heart beat which is also called cardiac arrhythmia.

Sleep Apnea And Atrial Fibrillation

Sleep apnea is the cessation of breathing while sleeping and this greatly increases the risk of atrial fibrillation specifically if the condition is left untreated.

Proof of Relationship

Sleep apnea is always present in a patient suffering from atrial fibrillation and this is the reason why research is being conducted on understanding the relationship between sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation.

Multiple studies conducted have proved the facts that sleep apnea has a role to play in the initiation and even in the progression of atrial fibrillation. This association is completely independent of hypertension, body mass index and obesity.

Sleep apnea is a condition marked with wide swings of intrathoracic pressure and unstable autonomic tone. These are conditions which have been mechanically linked to the development of atrial fibrillation in patients suffering from sleep apnea.

Controlling Both Sleep Apnea And Atrial Fibrillation

Sleep apnea not only helps in the initiation and in the progression of atrial fibrillation but it even makes the management of this condition difficult. Electrical cardio version and drug therapy for atrial fibrillation tend to be less successful with the presence of sleep apnea.

Treating sleep apnea with regular positive airway pressure improves the control of atrial fibrillation.

However, there is the need for conducting improved research in this field in order to come up with a very strong understanding of the relationship between atrial fibrillation and sleep apnea.