NOTE: This is not a new study, however, it was one of the largest research projects related to sleep disorders and cardiac issues. It led to numerous follow-up studies. The findings suggested the high risks of sudden cardiac death linked to obstructive sleep apnea
To identify the risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Risk stratification for SCD, a major cause of mortality, is difficult. OSA is linked to cardiovascular disease and arrhythmias, and has been shown to increase the risk of nocturnal SCD. It is unknown if OSA independently increases the risk of SCD.
We included 10,701 consecutive adults undergoing their first diagnostic polysomnogram between 7/1987 and 7/2003. During follow-up up to 15 years, we assessed incident resuscitated or fatal SCD in relationship to the presence of OSA, physiological data including the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) and nocturnal oxygen saturation (O2sat) parameters, and relevant comorbidities.
During an average follow-up of 5.3 years, 142 patients had resuscitated or fatal SCD (annual rate 0.27%). In multivariate analysis, independent risk factors for SCD were age, hypertension, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy or heart failure, ventricular ectopy or nonsustained ventricular tachycardia, and lowest nocturnal O2sat (per -10%, HR 1.14, P=0.029). SCD was best predicted by age >60 years (HR 5.53), AHI >20 (HR 1.60), mean nocturnal O2sat <93% (HR 2.93), and lowest nocturnal O2sat <78% (HR 2.60, all P<0.0001).
In a population of 10,701 adults referred for polysomnography, OSA predicted incident SCD, and the magnitude of risk was predicted by multiple parameters characterizing OSA severity. Nocturnal hypoxemia, an important pathophysiological feature of OSA, strongly predicted SCD independently of well-established risk factors. These findings implicate OSA, a prevalent condition, as a novel risk factor for SCD.
Read more here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3851022/
SOURCE: J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013 Aug 13; 62(7): 10.1016/j.jacc.2013.04.080.
Published online 2013 Jun 13. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2013.04.080