Updated 15 February 2013

Treatment of sleep apnoea improves BP in men

A new study suggests that treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) could reduce blood pressure in men with hypertension.


A new study suggests that when prescribed by physicians in routine practise and used appropriately by patients, treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) could reduce blood pressure in men with hypertension.

"All types of patients may benefit from this treatment, even those with other chronic medical conditions," said Bharati Prasad, MD, MS, the study's principal investigator. "It's important to now do a prospective study enrolling different types of patients with sleep apnoea."

How the study was done

The study, appearing in the issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, examined the effectiveness of obstructive sleep apnoea 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.

According to the authors, this is the first study to examine the effectiveness of treatment of obstructive sleep apnea on routine measures of hypertension and diabetes control in a practise-based clinical setting. The results show the real-world effectiveness of OSA treatment on hypertension.

(EurekAlert, October 2012)

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Dr Jacomien de Villiers qualified as a specialist physician at the University of Pretoria in 1995. She worked at various clinics at the Department of Internal Medicine, Steve Biko Hospital, these include General Internal Medicine, Hypertension, Diabetes and Cardiology. She has run a private practice since 2001, as well as a consultant post at the Endocrine Clinic of Steve Biko Hospital.

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