The Apnea – Blood Pressure Connection
Here we go again: further data has emerged that strongly suggests that obstructive sleep apnea can affect your health in new ways.
This week’s study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, found that opening an airway during sleep via positive pressure, such as a CPAP machine, can reduce blood pressure significantly in men with hypertension:
The study, appearing in the Oct. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, examined the effectiveness of obstructive sleep apnea treatment on high blood pressure and diabetes control in 221 men with preexisting hypertension or type 2 diabetes and a new diagnosis of OSA.
Participants received positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy upon treatment initiation.
Results show that both systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly with initiation of OSA treatment at both the first follow-up, 3-6 months after initiation, and the second follow-up, 9-12 months later.
It is entirely possible that this benefit may be procedure-agnostic, meaning that anything which reduces the incidence of apnea will have a similar salutary effect. I have seen health improvements across the board for my patients following septal surgery to relieve the symptoms of apnea, and several studies have associated reduced snoring with a host of beneficial effects.
What does this mean for you? If you are a chronic snorer, especially if you are prone to waking up gasping in the night, it’s time to go see an experienced Los Angeles ENT. Don’t even sleep on it.