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Mild obstructive sleep apnea does not modulate baroreflex sensitivity in adult patients

Authors Blomster H, Laitinen T, Hartikainen J, Laitinen T, Vanninen E, Gylling H, Sahlman J, Kokkarinen J, Randell J, Seppä J, Tuomilehto H

Received 9 February 2015

Accepted for publication 24 March 2015

Published 25 June 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 73—80

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NSS.S82443

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Steven A Shea


Henry Blomster,1 Tomi P Laitinen,2 Juha EK Hartikainen,3,6 Tiina M Laitinen,2 Esko Vanninen,2 Helena Gylling,4,8 Johanna Sahlman,1 Jouko Kokkarinen,5 Jukka Randell,5 Juha Seppä,1 Henri Tuomilehto4,7

1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, 2Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, 3Department of Internal Medicine, 4Department of Clinical Nutrition, School of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, 5Department of Respiratory Medicine, 6Heart Center, Kuopio University Hospital, 7Oivauni Sleep Clinic, Kuopio, 8Department of Medicine, Division of Internal Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a chronic and progressive disease. OSA is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, the risk being more frequently encountered with severe degrees of OSA. Increased sympathetic activation and impaired cardiac autonomic control as reflected by depressed baroreceptor reflex sensitivity (BRS) are possible mechanisms involved in the cardiovascular complications of OSA. However, it is not known at what stage of OSA that changes in BRS appear. The aim of this study was to evaluate BRS in patients with mild OSA.
Methods: The study population consisted of 81 overweight patients with mild OSA and 46 body weight-matched non-OSA subjects. BRS, apnea-hypopnea index, body mass index, and metabolic parameters were assessed. The phenylephrine test was used to measure BRS.
Results: Patients in the OSA group were slightly but significantly older than the non-OSA population (50.3±9.3 years vs 45.7±11.1 years, P=0.02). Body mass index, percentage body fat, blood pressure, fasting glucose, insulin, and lipid levels did not differ between the OSA patients and non-OSA subjects. Absolute BRS values in patients with mild OSA and non-OSA subjects (9.97±6.70 ms/mmHg vs 10.51±7.16 ms/mmHg, P=0.67) and BRS values proportional to age-related and sex-related reference values (91.4%±22.7% vs 92.2%±21.8%, P=0.84) did not differ from each other. BRS <50% of the sex-specific reference value was found in 6% of patients with mild OSA and in 2% of non-OSA subjects (P=0.29).
Conclusion: Patients with mild OSA did not show evidence of disturbed BRS in comparison with weight-matched non-OSA controls.

Keywords: obstructive sleep apnea, baroreceptor reflex sensitivity

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