Obstructive Sleep Apnea Associated with Hypertension in Perimenopausal Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Rodrigo Pinto Pedrosa, MD, PhD
Sleep and Heart Laboratory,
Pronto Socorro Cardiológico de Pernambuco
Pernambuclo, Brazil

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Pedrosa: Perimenopause is associated with increased cardiovascular risk. This study evaluated the association between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and arterial stiffness and hypertension in perimenopausal women. OSA (apnea-hypopnea index: ≥5 events/hour) and moderate/severe OSA (apnea-hypopnea index: ≥15 events/h) were diagnosed in 111 (40.1%) and 31 (11.1%) of women, respectively.  Women with moderate/severe obstructive sleep apnea  had a higher prevalence of hypertension, were prescribed more medications for hypertension, had higher awake blood pressure,  nocturnal blood pressure,  diastolic blood pressure, as well as higher arterial stiffness (pulse wave velocity: 11.5 [10.1 to 12.3] vs 9.5 [8.6 to 10.8] m/s, p<0.001) than women without obstructive sleep apnea, respectively. Oxygen desaturation index during the night was independently associated with 24h arterial blood pressure and with arterial stiffness.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Pedrosa: No. Previously, we had more evidence of the association between arterial stiffness and obstructive sleep apnea among men. Now, our results extends this knowledge to the perimenomausal population.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Pedrosa: Obstructive sleep apnea is common, underdiagnosed and independently associated with high blood pressure and increased arterial stiffness in the perimenopause.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Pedrosa: Future studies must address the role of OSA treatment in this population to evaluate blood pressure and arterial stiffness reductions.


Obstructive sleep apnea is common and independently associated with hypertension and increased arterial stiffness in consecutive perimenopausal women
Pedrosa RP, Barros IL, Drager LF, et al.

Published online April 17, 2014.