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Sleep Med. 2013 Nov;14(11):1139-50. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2013.07.006. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

Effects of continuous positive airway pressure therapy on systemic inflammation in obstructive sleep apnea: a meta-analysis.

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Department of Radiotherapy, Xuzhou Central Hospital, Affiliated Xuzhou Hospital of Medical College of Southeast University, Xuzhou, China.



Our meta-analysis was performed to estimate the effect of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy on systemic inflammation in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).


A comprehensive literature search of PubMed and EMBASE was performed for literature published up to January 2013. Standardized mean difference (SMD) was calculated to estimate the treatment effects of pre- and post-CPAP therapy.


A total of 35 studies involving 1985 OSA patients were included in the meta-analysis. Each study investigated one or more inflammatory markers: 24 studies on C-reactive protein (CRP), 16 studies on IL-6, 3 studies on IL-8, and 12 studies on tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α). The results showed that the SMD (95% confidence interval [CI]) for CRP, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α were 0.452 (95% CI, 0.252-0.651), 0.299 (95% CI, 0.001-0.596), 0.645 (95% CI, 0.362-0.929), and 0.478 (95% CI, 0.219-0.736) in pre- and post-CPAP therapy, respectively. The subgroup analyses seemed to support better benefits with therapy duration of ≥3 months and more adequate compliance (≥4 h/night).


CPAP therapy could partially suppress systemic inflammation in OSA patients, and substantial differences were present among the various inflammatory markers.


C-reactive protein; Continuous positive airway pressure; Interleukin-6; Interleukin-8; Meta-analysis; Obstructive sleep apnea; Systemic inflammation; Tumor necrosis factor-α

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