Hypertension Is Associated With Undiagnosed OSA During Rapid Eye Movement Sleep

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Background Evidence linking OSA with hypertension in population studies is conflicting. We examined longitudinal and cross-sectional associations of previously unrecognized OSA, including OSA occurring in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, with hypertension. Methods The Men Androgens Inflammation Lifestyle Environment and Stress (MAILES) study is a longitudinal study of community-dwelling men in Adelaide, South Australia. Biomedical assessments at baseline (2002-2006) and follow-up (2007-2010) identified hypertension (systolic ≥ 140 mm Hg and/or diastolic ≥ 90 mm Hg, or medication) and risk factors. In 2010 to 2011, 837 men without a prior diagnosis of OSA underwent full in-home unattended polysomnography of whom 739 recorded ≥ 30 min of REM sleep. Hypertension at follow-up (concomitant with OSA status) was defined as prevalent hypertension. Recent-onset hypertension was defined as hypertension at biomedical follow-up (56 months mean follow-up [range, 48-74]) in men free of hypertension at baseline. Results Severe REM OSA (apnea hypopnea index ≥30/h) showed independent adjusted associations with prevalent (OR, 2.40, 95% CI, 1.42-4.06), and recent-onset hypertension (2.24 [1.04-4.81]). Significant associations with non-REM AHI were not seen. In men with AHI < 10, REM OSA (apnea hypopnea index) ≥ 20/h was significantly associated with prevalent hypertension (2.67 [1.33-5.38]) and the relationship with recent-onset hypertension was positive but not statistically significant (2.32 [0.79-6.84]). Similar results were seen when analyses were confined to men with non-REM AHI < 10. Conclusions In men not considered to have OSA (AHI < 10), hypertension was associated with OSA during REM sleep. REM OSA may need consideration as an important clinical entity requiring treatment but further systematic assessment and evidence is needed.




Appleton, S. L., Vakulin, A., Martin, S. A., Lang, C. J., Wittert, G. A., Taylor, A. W., … Adams, R. J. (2016). Hypertension Is Associated With Undiagnosed OSA During Rapid Eye Movement Sleep. In Chest (Vol. 150, pp. 495–505). Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chest.2016.03.010

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