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Sleep. 2007 Mar;30(3):291-303.

Sleep-disordered breathing and cardiovascular risk.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St. SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Sleep-disordered breathing, broadly characterized by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA), is an increasingly recognized public health burden. OSA, consisting of apneas or hypopneas associated with respiratory efforts in the face of upper airway narrowing or collapse, is a common disorder that can be effectively treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). OSA not only results in daytime sleepiness and impaired executive function, but also has been implicated as a possible cause of systemic disease, particularly of the cardiovascular system. CSA, which may coexist with OSA, has gained attention because of the association of Cheyne-Stokes respiration with an ever-increasing prevalence of heart failure in an aging population. This article reviews some of the extensive literature on pathophysiologic mechanisms as they may relate to the development of cardiac and vascular disease and examine the evidence suggesting OSA as a specific cause of certain cardiovascular conditions. Available evidence regarding the implications of CSA in the context of heart failure is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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