Association of incident cardiovascular disease with progression of sleep-disordered breathing

Hassan A Chami, Helaine E Resnick, Stuart F Quan, Daniel J Gottlieb
Circulation 2011 March 29, 123 (12): 1280-6

BACKGROUND: Prospective data suggest that sleep-disordered breathing enhances risk for incident and recurrent cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, a reverse causal pathway whereby incident CVD causes or worsens sleep-disordered breathing has not been studied.

METHODS AND RESULTS: A total of 2721 Sleep Heart Health Study participants (mean age 62, standard deviation=10 years; 57% women; 23% minority) without CVD at baseline underwent 2 polysomnograms 5 years apart. Incident CVD events, including myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and stroke, were ascertained and adjudicated. The relation of incident CVD to change in apnea-hypopnea index between the 2 polysomnograms was tested with general linear models, with adjustment for age, sex, race, study center, history of diabetes mellitus, change in body mass index, change in neck circumference, percent sleep time spent in supine sleep, and time between the 2 polysomnograms. Incident CVD occurred in 95 participants between the first and second polysomnograms. Compared with participants without incident CVD, those with incident CVD experienced larger increases in apnea-hypopnea index between polysomnograms. The difference in adjusted mean apnea-hypopnea index change between subjects with and without incident CVD was 2.75 events per hour (95% confidence interval, 0.26 to 5.24; P=0.032). This association persisted after subjects with central sleep apnea were excluded. Compared with participants without incident CVD, participants with incident CVD had greater increases in both mean obstructive and central apnea indices, by 1.75 events per hour (95% confidence interval, 0.10 to 1.75; P=0.04) and by 1.07 events per hour (95% confidence interval, 0.40 to 1.74; P=0.001), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: In a diverse, community-based sample of middle-aged and older adults, incident CVD was associated with worsening sleep-disordered breathing over 5 years.

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