A new study shows a strong association between severe, untreated obstructive sleep apnea and the risk of elevated blood pressure despite the use of high blood pressure medications.
The study involved patients who had cardiovascular risk factors or established heart disease and moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea. Among participants prescribed at least three antihypertensives including a diuretic, resistant elevated blood pressure was more prevalent in those with severe sleep apnea (58.3 %) compared with moderate sleep apnea (28.6%). Further analysis found that the odds of resistant elevated blood pressure were four times higher in participants with severe, untreated obstructive sleep apnea even after adjusting for potential confounders such as body mass index, smoking status, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease (adjusted odds ratio = 4.12).
“Our findings suggest that severe obstructive sleep apnea contributes to poor blood pressure control despite aggressive medication use,” said first author Dr. Harneet Walia, assistant professor at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. “This is an important finding from a clinical perspective as poor blood pressure control in patients taking multiple antihypertensive medications makes them particularly vulnerable to increased cardiovascular risk.”
Full story of sleep apnea and high blood pressure at Science Daily