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Hypertension. 2007 Aug;50(2):417-23. Epub 2007 Jun 4.

Effect of nocturnal nasal continuous positive airway pressure on blood pressure in obstructive sleep apnea.

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Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA.


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a very common risk factor for hypertension, and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) has been widely used to treat OSA. We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials to evaluate the effects of CPAP on blood pressure, reported as either a primary or secondary end point, among patients with OSA. Studies were retrieved by searching Medline (January 1980 to July 2006), the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, conference abstracts, and bibliographies of review and original articles. From 255 relevant reports, 16 randomized clinical trials were selected that compared CPAP to control among participants with OSA, had a minimum treatment duration of 2 weeks, and reported blood pressure changes during the intervention or control period. Data on sample size, participant characteristics, study design, intervention methods, duration, and treatment results were independently abstracted by 2 investigators using a standardized protocol. Data from 16 trials representing 818 participants were examined using a random-effects model. Mean net change in systolic blood pressure for those treated with CPAP compared with control was -2.46 mm Hg (95% CI: -4.31 to -0.62); mean net change in diastolic blood pressure was -1.83 mm Hg (95% CI: -3.05 to -0.61); and mean net change in mean arterial pressure was -2.22 mm Hg (95% CI: -4.38 to -0.05). Net reductions in blood pressure were not statistically different between daytime and nighttime. These results indicate that CPAP decreases blood pressure among those with OSA and may help prevent hypertension.

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