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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Sleep Apnea, the Risk of Developing Heart Failure, and Potential Benefits of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy

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BACKGROUND: Whether there is an association between sleep apnea (SA) and the risk of developing heart failure (HF) is unclear. Furthermore, it has never been established whether continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy can prevent development of HF. We aimed to investigate SA patients' risk of developing HF and the association of CPAP therapy.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Using nationwide databases, the entire Danish population was followed from 2000 until 2012. patients with SA receiving and not receiving CPAP therapy were identified and compared with the background population. The primary end point was first-time hospital contact for HF and adjusted incidence rate ratios of HF were calculated using Poisson regression models. Among 4.9 million individuals included, 40 485 developed SA during the study period (median age: 53.4 years, 78.5% men) of whom 45.2% received CPAP therapy. Crude rates of HF were increased in all patients with SA relative to the background population. In the adjusted model, the incidence rate ratios of HF were increased in the untreated SA patients of all ages, compared with the background population. Comparing the CPAP-treated patients with SA with the untreated patients with SA showed significantly lower incidence rate ratios of HF among older patients.

CONCLUSIONS: In this nationwide cohort study, SA not treated with CPAP was associated with an increased risk of HF in patients of all ages. Use of CPAP therapy was associated with a lower risk of incident HF in patients >60 years of age, suggesting a protective effect of CPAP therapy in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Volume7
Issue number13
Pages (from-to)e008684
ISSN2047-9980
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2018

ID: 55408948