Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Free Content Continuous positive airway pressure treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea reduces resting heart rate but does not affect dysrhythmias: a randomised controlled trial

Download Article:

You have access to the full text article on a website external to Ingenta Connect.

Please click here to view this article on Wiley Online Library.

You may be required to register and activate access on Wiley Online Library before you can obtain the full text. If you have any queries please visit Wiley Online Library


Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is associated with cardiovascular morbidity and may precipitate cardiac dysrhythmias. Uncontrolled reports suggest that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) may reduce dysrhythmia frequency and resting heart rate. We undertook a randomised controlled trial of therapeutic CPAP and compared with a subtherapeutic control which included an exploration of changes in dysrhythmia frequency and heart rate. Values are expressed as mean (SD). Eighty-three men [49.5 (9.6) years] with moderate–severe OSA [Oxygen Desaturation Index, 41.2 (24.3) dips per hour] underwent 3-channel 24-h electrocardiograms during normal daily activities, before and after 1 month of therapeutic (n = 43) or subtherapeutic (n = 40) CPAP. Recordings were manually analysed for mean heart rate, pauses, bradycardias, supraventricular and ventricular dysrhythmias. The two groups were well matched for age, body mass index, OSA severity, cardiovascular risk factors and history. Supraventricular ectopics and ventricular ectopics were frequently found in 95.2% and 85.5% of patients, respectively. Less common were sinus pauses (42.2%), episodes of bradycardia (12%) and ventricular tachycardias (4.8%). Compared with subtherapeutic control, CPAP reduced mean 24-h heart rate from 83.0 (11.5) to 79.7 (9.8) (P < 0.002) in the CPAP group compared with a non-significant rise (P = 0.18) from 79.0 (10.4) to 79.9 (10.4) in the subtherapeutic group; this was also the case for the day period analysed separately. There was no significant change in the frequencies of dysrhythmias after CPAP. Four weeks of CPAP therapy reduces mean 24-h heart rate possibly due to reduced sympathetic activation but did not result in a significant decrease in dysrhythmia frequency.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: apnoea; dysrhythmias; mean heart rate; obstructive sleep apnoea; randomised controlled trial; sleep

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Oxford Centre for Respiratory Medicine, Churchill Hospital, Oxford 2: Department of Respiratory Medicine, Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, UK

Publication date: September 1, 2009

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more