chronic heart failure, functional capacity, health-related quality of life, oxygen treatment, sleep, sleep-disordered breathing



  1. Brostrom, Anders PhD, RN
  2. Hubbert, Laila MD, PhDc
  3. Jakobsson, Per MD, PhD
  4. Johansson, Peter BNSc, RN
  5. Fridlund, Bengt PhD, RN
  6. Dahlstrom, Ulf MD, PhD


Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is common in patients with heart failure (HF) and leads to disturbed sleep. The objective of this study was to determine the persistent effects of long-term nocturnal oxygen treatment in patients with severe HF regarding (1) objective outcomes, such as sleep, SDB, cardiac function, and functional capacity; (2) subjective outcomes, such as self-assessed sleep difficulties, daytime sleepiness, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL); and (3) the relationship between objective and subjective outcomes. In this open nonrandomized experimental study, 22 patients, median age 71 years, with severe HF were studied before and after 3 months of receiving nocturnal oxygen. The measures used were overnight polysomnography, echocardiography, 6-minute walk test, self-assessed sleep difficulties (Uppsala Sleep Inventory-HF), daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale), and HRQOL (36-Item Short Form Health Survey and Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire). SDB, with a 90% dominance of central sleep apnea, occurred in 41% of the patients with severe HF before intervention. After intervention, functional capacity improved for both the whole group of patients with HF (P < .01) and HF patients with SDB (P < .05). No improvements regarding cardiac function, objective sleep, subjective sleep, or SDB were seen, except for a decrease of >=4% desaturations (P < .05). HRQOL did not differ significantly between HF patients with and without SDB before or after intervention with nocturnal oxygen. Long-term nocturnal oxygen treatment improved functional capacity in patients with severe HF, with or without SDB. No improvements were seen regarding sleep, daytime sleepiness, SDB, cardiac function, or HRQOL.