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Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2014 Oct;35(5):531-44. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1390023. Epub 2014 Oct 21.

Obstructive sleep apnea: role of intermittent hypoxia and inflammation.

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Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio.
Neurologic Institute, Respiratory Institute, Heart and Vascular Institute and Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Research University, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio.


Obstructive sleep apnea results in intermittent hypoxia via repetitive upper airway obstruction leading to partial or complete upper airway closure, apneas and hypopneas, respectively. Intermittent hypoxia leads to sympathetic nervous system activation and oxidative stress with a resultant systemic inflammatory cascade. The putative mechanism by which obstructive sleep apnea has been linked to numerous pathologic conditions including stoke, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and metabolic derangements is through these systemic effects. Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea appears to reduce systemic markers of inflammation and ameliorates the adverse sequelae of this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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