From: Reuters
Published December 10, 2007 06:40 PM

Sticking with sleep apnea treatment cuts BP

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - New research suggests that people who suffer from the nighttime breathing disorder, obstructive sleep apnea, who also have high blood pressure could benefit from good compliance with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment.

Obstructive sleep apnea, which is linked to high blood pressure and other heart conditions, is a common problem in which people stop breathing for short periods during sleep. It occurs when soft tissues in the back of the throat collapses, temporarily block the airway.

With CPAP, a special face mask is worn that continuously blows air into the throat, preventing the tissues from collapsing.

In a study reported in the journal Chest, doctors from Spain monitored changes in blood pressure in 55 patients who were treated with CPAP and followed for 24 months. On average, CPAP was used for 5.3 hours each day.

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Dr. Francisco Campos-Rodriguez and colleagues, from Valme University Hospital in Sevilla found that while long-term CPAP therapy reduced blood pressure modestly in the whole group, patients who initially had higher blood pressure and good CPAP compliance achieved significant reductions in blood pressure.

SOURCE: Chest, December 2007.

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