CPAP May Decrease Risk of Hypertension
Recent studies have revealed that those who use CPAP for sleep apnea treatment may benefit from a reduced risk of heart disease and hypertension. One study concluded that those undergoing CPAP therapy will have lower risks for developing diabetes as well.
Sleep apnea is one of the sleep disorders common to adults and children. Breathing stops momentarily for 20 seconds or more due to physical blocks or other conditions. Obstructive sleep apnea is the more common type. This is when the air passage is blocked when a person relaxes his or her throat muscles during sleep.
Currently 3% to 7% suffer from such condition. When there is an oxygen drop because breathing is paused this increases risks for hypertension, heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular issues. According to some research, those with sleep apnea are 5 times more likely to die from cancer. Children who have sleep apnea snore and breathe through the mouth and will most likely have behavioural problems.
Treatment for sleep apnea is obtained by using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP machine. This machine forcibly pumps air with the use of a mask worn as the person is sleeping. This prevents sleep apnea episodes and stops snoring as well.
One study published in the Journal of American Association examined 730 participants with obstructive sleep apnea at teaching hospitals in Spain. Some were randomly selected to use the CPAP machine while the rest were not given any treatment. The study was conducted over the course of 4 years and throughout the follow-up period. The research team found those who were given CPAP therapy had 68 hypertension cases and 28 were victims of cardiovascular attacks. Out of the other group with no sleep apnea intervention, 79 had hypertension and 31 had cardiovascular episodes. Therefore, those who wore CPAP while sleeping had lesser incidents of hypertension and cardiovascular problems. The study also showed that those who wore CPAP for at least 4 hours or longer each night had a 28% less change of having hypertension.
Another study that examined more individuals also found that hypertension risk is lessened with CPAP use. Within this study, 1,900 subjects were examined who did not have hypertension at the start of the research, which lasted from 1994 to 2000. A follow up was made every year until 2011. Thos who suffered from sleep apnea were asked to use the CPAP machine according to some guidelines while the rest acted as the control group.
After the 11 year follow-ups, 705 patients now had hypertension. Those who had sleep apnea and did not use the CPAP machine due to ineligibility were 33% likely to progress to have hypertension. That who had sleep apnea and declined to use the CPAP machine was 2 times more to advance and have hypertension. Patients who did not follow the CPAP usage were 80% at risk for development of high blood pressure than those who did not suffer from the sleep disorder. The study had the conclusion that 29% less likelihood of hypertension development happens to those who are CPAP machine users.
Dr. Vishesh K. Kapur, a sleep specialist at the University of Washington, Seattle, said that obstructive sleep apnea seem to cause hypertension in patients and that CPAP therapy greatly helps in the lessening of blood pressure rise in people. It is evident that those using CPAP machines will not develop hypertension as shown on the statistics of the two studies presented here.