Abnormal heart rhythms plague people with OSA

Sunday, April 30, 2006

CLEVELAND - Patients with severe sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) are two to four times more likely to experience complex, abnormal heart rhythms while sleeping than individuals without the problem. In a study published in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers studied 228 patients with sleep-disordered breathing and 338 with no sleep disorder to determine the cardiovascular consequences of SDB. Participants with SDB had a respiratory disturbance index that averaged about 44 pauses per hour of sleep. The control subjects experienced only 2.8 interruptions per hour. No race or sex differences were observed between groups, but the SDB group was mostly older and had a higher body mass index.