Cardiovascular variability characteristics in obstructive sleep apnea

Krzysztof Narkiewicz, Virend K. Somers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Altered cardiovascular variability is a prognostic indicator for cardiovascular events. This review examines the evidence that OSA is accompanied by alterations in cardiovascular variability. This alteration is evident even in the absence of hypertension, heart failure or other disease states, and may be linked to the severity of OSA. The presence of clear-cut abnormalities in time and frequency-domain measures of blood-pressure and heart-rate variability in normotensive OSA patients provides intriguing evidence for the concept of an etiologic interaction between sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease. Mechanisms that could contribute to altered cardiovascular variability in patients with sleep apnea include abnormalities in chemoreflex, baroreflex and endothelial function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-94
Number of pages6
JournalAutonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 20 2001


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate
  • Sleep apnea
  • Sympathetic nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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