News Perspectives

Sleep Apnea Treatments May Protect Heart

Treatments for sleep apnea might help control factors, such as blood pressure, that increase the risk of heart disease, new research finds. The two new studies appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine. One study included 318 adults with sleep apnea. They had either heart disease or a high risk of developing it. Two groups were randomly assigned to use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine at night or just receive oxygen. The third group got education on good sleep habits. After 12 weeks blood pressure was 2 to 3 points lower in the CPAP group than in the others. The second study included 181 obese adults with sleep apnea. They were randomly assigned to 6 months of CPAP, weight-loss counseling or both. The group that used CPAP and lost weight had the largest drop in blood pressure. In the 2 groups that lost weight, the loss averaged 15 pounds.

To continue reading this article you must be registered.

Get Licensed Content to Harvard Health

If you are interested in licensing content from Harvard Health Publications, please contact us using our online form. Our licensing and business development professionals will help you leverage consumer health content from Harvard Medical School as a clear differentiator in helping achieve your business goals.

Contact Us

Customer Log In