With the growing epidemic of obesity in an aging population, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is increasingly encountered in clinical practice. Given the acute cardiopulmonary stressors consequent to repetitive upper airway collapse, as well as evidence for cardiovascular homeostatic dysregulation in subjects with sleep apnea, there is ample biologic plausibility that OSA imparts increased cardiovascular risk, independent of comorbid disease. Indeed, observational studies have suggested strong associations with multiple disorders, such as systemic hypertension, heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, and pulmonary hypertension. Further data in the form of longitudinal cohort studies and randomized controlled trials are accruing to add to the body of evidence. This review examines pathophysiologic mechanisms and explores current concepts regarding the impact of OSA and its treatment on selected clinical disease states.
- Positive airway pressure
- Sleep-disordered breathing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine