Study: CPAP reduces risk of death from COPD, sleep apnea

Friday, August 16, 2013

DARIEN, Ill. – Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy reduces the mortality rate of those with both chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), referred to as overlap syndrome. The study can be found in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

“We have shown that more time on CPAP in patients with the overlap syndrome was associated with a reduced risk of death, after controlling for common risk factors,” said lead study author Michael Stanchina, M.D., clinical assistant professor of medicine at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and a physician at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, R.I, in a press release. 

Study results showed patients using CPAP have a significantly higher survival rate than those not using the therapy, with benefits realized from even minimal use of CPAP.

“We were most surprised to find that any level of CPAP use in this cohort, over no use, was associated with some mortality benefit,” Stanchina said.