Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Short Apneas Linked To Increased Mortality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Snoring away" by Doug Ford is licensed under CC BY 2.0Matthew P Butler, PhD

Assistant Professor, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
Assistant Professor, Department of Behavioral Neuroscience
Oregon Health & Science University
Portland, OR 97239

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with heart disease and mortality, but how OSA does this is not well understood. We are therefore looking for sub-phenotypes within OSA that will help us predict who is at greatest risk.

Current diagnosis of OSA is made on the basis of the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI – the number of respiratory events per hour of sleep). But the AHI is not a very good predictor of future mortality.

We tested the hypothesis that the duration of events (how long the breathing interruptions are) would predict risk. We found that those with the shortest breathing interruptions had the highest risk of dying, after accounting for other conditions like age, gender, race, and smoking status.  Continue reading