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The Strange Ways of Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is a strange medical condition usually requiring a CPAP OR BIPAP machine to draw in room air through filters into a hose attached to the facemask we have harnessed to our head. The facemask confines the air and pushes it through the open airway into happy air gulping lungs. The machine lets us sleep.

The latest and greatest news first is that a small clinical study showed the CPAP machine might help the heart function better in sleep apnea patients. http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/ASE/tb/14658

What did the study indicate about the BIPAP patients? That is a good question to ask Harrison Medical Center’s lead Sleep Specialist, Daniel Moore, at the next AWAKE sleep support group meeting on the 17th…

Another study shows something amazing to me…

In an eight-year study funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the moderate to severe sleep apnea patients appear more likely to die from any cause, regardless of age, gender, race, weight, smoking history, or other medical conditions…

“… It is still unknown whether treating sleep apnea reduces risk of death and cardiovascular disease. …

(SHHS) enrolled more than 6,000 men and women ages 40 years and older at multiple centers around the U.S. to determine cardiovascular and other consequences of sleep-disordered breathing…. researchers found similar relationships between sleep apnea and deaths related to coronary artery disease.

They also found an association between the lack of oxygen that results when patients with sleep apnea momentarily stop breathing and all-cause mortality. But they found no relationship between mortality and waking due to apnea….

…the researchers cautioned that the study had several limitations. …might have introduced some bias into the study…. they noted that this study was the largest of its kind to date…. carefully collecting data on sleep, breathing abnormalities, and a wide range of other health factors….

…”Given the high and likely increasing prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing in the general population, additional research in the form of randomized clinical trials should be undertaken to assess if treatment can reduce premature mortality associated with this common and chronic disorder,” the authors wrote.”
The authors are Dr. Naresh M. Punjabi and co-investigator, David M Rapoport.

Punjabi N, et al “Sleep-disordered breathing and mortality: A prospective cohort study” PLoS Med 2009; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000132.

http://www.medpagetoday.com/Pulmonary/SleepDisorders/15574?impressionId=1251401547027

More later… Sharon O’Hara

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