Study Finds CPAP Improved Quality of Life But Did Not Reduce Cardiovascular Risk Interview with:
Prof. Craig Anderson, PhD
Professor of Stroke Medicine and Clinical Neuroscience
Medicine, The George Institute for Global Health
University of Sydney What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We wished to prove whether treatment of obstructive sleep apnea with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP ) can modify the risk of cardiovascular disease. The is a lot of association data from epidemiological and clinical studies but no large scale international clinical trials assessing the effects of CPAP on the prevention of serious cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke.

Our study in nearly 3000 adults with prior heart attack or stroke and moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea showed that CPAP treatment did not prevent recurrent cardiovascular events or major cardiovascular risk factors. However CPAP did improve wearers’ sense of wellbeing, mood and work productivity. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Obstructive sleep apnea is very common in the community but particularly in those with cardiovascular risk factors. Treatment with CPAP can reduce snoring, improve sleep quality, and quality of life, mood and productivity. However, treatment will not on its own lower the risk of cardiovascular disease What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Examine ways to improve adherence to CPAP and identify people at high risk of cardiovascular disease who can be targeted for more intensive preventative therapy
Is there anything else you would like to add? This was an enormous effort of many people over 10 years to achieve this important result that will influence clinical practice . Thank you for your contribution to the


CPAP for Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in Obstructive Sleep Apnea
R. Doug McEvoy, M.D., Nick A. Antic, M.D., Ph.D., Emma Heeley, Ph.D., Yuanming Luo, M.D., Qiong Ou, M.D., Xilong Zhang, M.D., Olga Mediano, M.D., Rui Chen, M.D., Luciano F. Drager, M.D., Ph.D., Zhihong Liu, M.D., Ph.D., Guofang Chen, M.D., Baoliang Du, M.D., Nigel McArdle, M.D., Sutapa Mukherjee, M.D., Ph.D., Manjari Tripathi, M.D., Laurent Billot, M.Sc., Qiang Li, M.Biostat., Geraldo Lorenzi-Filho, M.D., Ferran Barbe, M.D., Susan Redline, M.D., M.P.H., Jiguang Wang, M.D., Ph.D., Hisatomi Arima, M.D., Ph.D., Bruce Neal, M.D., Ph.D., David P. White, M.D., Ron R. Grunstein, M.D., Ph.D., Nanshan Zhong, M.D., and Craig S. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., for the SAVE Investigators and Coordinators*
August 28, 2016DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1606599

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Last Updated on August 30, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD