June 11, 2013

OSA is a Risk for Sudden Cardiac Death

Mayo Clinic researchers have determined that not only does OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) lead to increased risk of stroke, cardiac arrest, hypertension, vascular disease, etc but it can also increase the risk of sudden cardiac death, usually due to a fatal cardiac arrhythmia. This conclusion was reached after tracking thousands of men and women with sleep apnea for up to 15 years of whom 142 had sudden cardiac deaths or arrests who were resuscitated.

These sudden cardiac arrests occurred mainly at night, 60 years of age or older, with AHI scores of 20 or greater, and having low blood levels of oxygen. When oxygen saturation was 78% or less, the risk of sudden cardiac arrest increased by 80%. Normal oxygen saturation is 95-100%.

Unfortunately, the study failed to address whether those who used a CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure) or underwent surgical intervention to correct the OSA had a reduced risk of sudden cardiac death.

Such surgical intervention to treat OSA include UPPP and base of tongue reduction. Sedated endoscopy may be required to determine where the obstruction occurs anatomically before deciding on a surgical course of action.

Sleep Apnea May Boost Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death. WebMD 6/11/13

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and the Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death: A Longitudinal Study of 10,701 Adults. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013;():. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2013.04.080

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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