Study highlights clinical, economic benefits of CPAP therapy

Friday, May 2, 2014

SAN DIEGO – CPAP therapy lowers blood pressure in obstructive sleep apnea patients with Type 2 diabetes and helps to control their diabetes, according to a new study sponsored by ResMed. What’s more: it’s cost effective. The study used a case-control design, during which 300 patients with OSA and Type 2 diabetes were randomly selected from a nationally representative database of patients in the U.K. Researchers then analyzed the total National Health Service (NHS) cost and outcomes of patient management over a five-year span in the 150 patients who underwent CPAP therapy, compared to the remaining 150 patients who did not. 

Researchers found that using CPAP therapy was associated with significantly lower blood pressure at five years, and increasingly lower HbA1c levels over five consecutive years, compared with untreated OSA patients. At five years, the HbA1c level in the CPAP-treated group was 8.2% versus 12.1% in the control group. The study also demonstrated that use of CPAP led to an increase in health status by 0.27 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) per patient over five years, and only increased NHS management costs by £4,141 per patient over that same five-year period. The NHS uses QALYs to measure how much a patient’s life is improved by a therapy. If a treatment costs more than £20,000 per QALY gained, it is not considered cost-effective by NHS standards. Researchers found that the cost per QALY gained with CPAP was £15,337, suggesting that initiating treatment with CPAP in OSA patients with Type 2 diabetes is a cost-effective use of resources.