Pneumonia Risk Increased From Sleep Apnea

Dr. Vincent Yi-Fong Su Department of Chest Medicine Taipei Veterans General Hospital Taipei, Interview with:
Dr. Vincent Yi-Fong Su
Department of Chest Medicine
Taipei Veterans General Hospital
Taipei, Taiwan What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: We found interestingly that patients with sleep apnea experienced a 1.20-fold (95% CI, 1.10-1.31; p <0.001) increase in incident pneumonia compared to patients without sleep apnea. We also demonstrated an “exposure-response relationship,” in that the patients with more severe sleep apnea might have a higher risk for pneumonia than did those of milder severity. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Answer: Based on our results, primary care generalists are suggested to survey sleep disorders among pneumonia patients without other identified risk factors or among patients with recurrent pneumonia. For sleep specialists, our finding may broaden the spectrum of sleep apnea-related complications, which may not limited to the cardiovascular or neurocognitive aspects. As well, while caring CPAP users, every effort should be made to minimize the risk of pneumonia, such as enhanced cleaning of CPAP tubing and humidifier or being vigilant if recurrent pneumonia was noted among CPAP users. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Answer: Future more elaborate prospective research is needed to confirm our finding and elucidate the possible underlying mechanisms.


Sleep apnea and risk of pneumonia: a nationwide population-based study

Vincent Yi-Fong Su, Chia-Jen Liu, Hsin-Kai Wang, Li-An Wu, Shi-Chuan Chang,Diahn-Warng Perng, Wei-Juin Su,Yuh-Min Chen, Elizabeth Ya-Hsuan Lin ,Tzeng-Ji Chen and Kun-Ta Chou

CMAJ cmaj.131547; published ahead of print March 3, 2014, doi:10.1503/cmaj.131547

Last Updated on March 3, 2014 by Marie Benz MD FAAD