Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea Tied to Lasting BP Drop

Positive airway pressure lowers systolic and diastolic blood pressure in a real-world setting

THURSDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In men with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and preexisting systemic hypertension or type 2 diabetes, positive airway pressure (PAP) is associated with a significant and sustained reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP), according to research published in the Oct. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

To examine the effectiveness of PAP treatment on clinical BP and diabetes control measures, Bharati Prasad, M.D., of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study involving 221 male veterans with a new diagnosis of OSA who initiated PAP treatment.

The researchers identified sustained independent effects of OSA treatment on systolic and diastolic BP, after adjustment for potential confounders, at three to six months and nine to 12 months after treatment. OSA treatment was not associated with changes in diabetes control measures.

"OSA treatment lowers blood pressure in a clinical population of men with hypertension. This study extends the known efficacy to real-world effectiveness of OSA management on hypertension," the authors write. "Prospective effectiveness research examining changes in cardiovascular outcomes with treatment interventions for OSA is necessary to confirm these findings, to identify traits associated with a positive therapeutic response, and to inform clinical practice."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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