Healio: A recent study highlights the importance of treating pulmonary hypertension in patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

This single-center, observational study enrolled 140 patients with pulmonary hypertension (mean age, 39.5 years; 76.4% women) diagnosed via right heart catheterization who underwent overnight cardiorespiratory monitoring from December 2018 to December 2020. OSA was defined by an apnea-hypopnea index of 5 or more hours with 50% or more obstructive apneic events. Researchers then compared patients with pulmonary hypertension with and without OSA.

Twenty-five percent of patients with pulmonary hypertension had OSA. The incidence of OSA was 76% among patients with pulmonary hypertension associated with pulmonary disease or low oxygen, 50% among those with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, 15.4% among those with connective tissue disease-associated PAH, 11.8% among those with unknown mechanisms of pulmonary hypertension and 8% among those with congenital heart disease-associated PAH.

“OSA has a high incidence in patients with pulmonary hypertension. OSA may aggravate pulmonary hypertension to some extent, and advanced age, male sex and lower daytime PaO2 could predict the presence of OSA. It may be important to identify and treat pulmonary hypertension patients with OSA,” Lu Yan, MD, from the Center for Pulmonary Vascular Diseases, Fuwai Hospital, National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, and colleagues wrote in BMC Pulmonary Medicine. “The clinical significance of pulmonary hypertension with OSA requires further investigation.”

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