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Novel metrics of sleep-disordered breathing are associated with outcome after ischemic stroke.

Sleep Medicine 2023 November 11
OBJECTIVE/BACKGROUND: Standard measures of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) that rely on count data may not sufficiently capture SDB severity or reflect downstream consequences of SDB. We hypothesized that novel metrics derived from pulse rate, oxygen saturation, and nasal pressure would be associated with stroke outcomes.

PATIENTS/METHODS: Shortly after ischemic stroke, participants in a population-based study were offered ApneaLink Plus testing. Signal analysis was used to generate 166 metrics from the nasal pressure cannula and finger probe, categorized as: autonomic (based on pulse rate variability), oximetry-derived, nasal pressure-derived, and mixed oxygen and nasal pressure-derived measures. Three-month outcome assessments included functional and cognitive outcomes and stroke recurrence. Tobit regression and Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine associations between each sleep apnea metric and the three outcomes, unadjusted and adjusted for multiple potential confounders. Models were adjusted for multiple comparisons.

RESULTS: Of the 530 participants, the median age was 65 (IQR: 57, 73), 49 % were female, and 64 % were Mexican American. Without covariate adjustment, 23 of 166 variables were associated with functional outcome, 43 were associated with cognitive outcome, and 1 was associated with stroke recurrence. After adjustment, 7 mixed, oximetry, or nasal pressure-based metrics and 1 autonomic metric were associated with functional outcome, but none was associated with cognitive outcome or stroke recurrence.

CONCLUSIONS: Many novel metrics of SDB were associated with important stroke outcomes, and 8 novel metrics were associated with functional outcome in adjusted models. This raises hypotheses about pathways by which SDB may negatively impact stroke outcomes.

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