Obstructive sleep apnea is highly prevalent and more severe disease appears to be associated with higher blood pressure among patients with resistant hypertension, a recent study suggests.

“We believe that OSA plays an important role in the pathogenesis and prognosis of patients with resistant hypertension,” Mireia Dalmases Cleries, MD, a pulmonologist and sleep researcher at the Hospital Universitari Arnau de Vilanova, said in a press release. “Our study shows a dose-response association between OSA severity and blood pressure, especially during the nighttime period.”

Dalmases Cleries and colleagues evaluated 284 patients with resistant hypertension from three countries recruited between April 2016 and July 2018 as an ancillary study to the SARAH study — a multicenter, international, prospective, observational cohort study measuring the effect of OSA and CPAP on cardiovascular outcomes among patients with resistant hypertension. Only patients aged 18 to 75 years with a diagnosis of resistant hypertension confirmed via 24-hour ambulatory BP monitoring were included. Patients with life expectancy less than 1 year, undergoing current CPAP treatment or with resistant hypertension secondary to an endocrinological cause, drug treatment, renal artery stenosis, intracranial tumors or aortic coarctation were excluded.

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