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Sleep. 1998 May 1;21(3):290-6.

Susceptibility of LDL to oxidative stress in obstructive sleep apnea.

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Sleep Disorders Center, St. Boniface General Hospital, Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Cardiovascular diseases are more common in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) than in the general population. We hypothesized that severe hypoxemia during sleep in these patients may cause an imbalance between reactive oxygen species and the antioxidant reserve that is important for the detoxification of these molecules. We tested the hypothesis that low-density lipoproteins (LDL) in hypoxic OSA patients may be more susceptible to oxidative stress than LDL of nonhypoxic OSA patients and normal controls. Fifteen OSA patients were included in this study, six with severe hypoxia (hypoxic group) who spent more than 10 minutes during sleep with SaO2 < 85% (mean 96 minutes), and nine OSA patients (nonhypoxic group) who spent less than 10 minutes during sleep with SaO2 < 85% (mean 1.1 minutes). Six healthy nonsmoking males of the same age group were included as a control group. The susceptibility of each individual's LDL to oxidative stress was examined after free-radical challenge in vitro by assessing changes in levels of conjugated dienes. The LDL in OSA patients with severe hypoxia was not more susceptible to oxidative stress compared to the LDL of nonhypoxic OSA patients and normal controls. After 6 hours of exposure to an oxidative agent, the changes in the mean conjugated diene were not different among the three groups (p = 0.75). The time required to reach 50% of maximal absorbance was also not different, p = 0.199. Glutathione peroxidase and catalase activities in red blood cells in the hypoxic and nonhypoxic patient groups were not significantly different. One night of CPAP therapy in each patient group did not significantly change the level of the antioxidant enzymes. Our results did not show any difference in the susceptibility to oxidative stress between hypoxic and nonhypoxic OSA patients and normal controls.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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