Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy did not reduce the burden of atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients with paroxysmal AF and central or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to research results published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

To evaluate the effect of CPAP treatment on AF burden, researchers evaluated data from the A3 study (AF, Apnea, Airway Pressure; Identifier: NCT02727192), a randomized controlled, parallel-group, open-label trial.

Consecutive adult patients between 18 and 75 years of age diagnosed with paroxysmal AF were screened for sleep apnea. Those with moderate to severe sleep apnea (apnea-hypopnea index ≥15/h) were eligible for inclusion.

Participants were randomly assigned 1:1 to either autotitrating CPAP plus usual care for 5 months or to continue usual care alone. The primary study endpoint was the difference between CPAP treatment and usual care in terms of AF burden, measured by loop recorder, from baseline to the final 3 months of the intervention period.

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