We have known for years that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) doesn’t just affect your quality of sleep or cause you to snore: it can have serious, systemic affects on your overall health, including your heart health. In fact, studies have shown that those with sleep apnea have significantly higher morbidity rates in part because patients suffer from related health conditions. In general, treating your sleep apnea doesn’t just save your sleep, it can save your life.
Now, two recent studies have come to a new and important conclusion: treating your sleep apnea can make for a healthier heart and a healthier life. Specifically, correctly treating your OSA will mean fewer hospital readmissions and ER visits for any issue. Let’s take a closer look.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine Sleep Apnea Study
In the first hospital readmissions study, published in 2014, researchers found that when hospitalized cardiac patients treated their sleep apnea with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices, the patients’ 30-day hospital readmissions rates and emergency room visit rate dropped significantly.
The study followed just over one hundred who had been hospitalized for heart issues like heart failure, arrhythmias or myocardial infarction. Each patient was screened for OSA using an in-hospital sleep study and then followed for 30 days following their visit. None of the patients who consistently used the CPAP device were readmitted to the hospital in the next month, while 30 percent of those who used CPAP inconsistently were readmitted and 29 percent of those who did not use CPAP were readmitted.
The American Journal of Cardiology Sleep Apnea Study
Just this year, researchers conducted a similar study regarding sleep apnea treatment and hospital readmission. This study, which took place at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, screened hospitalized heart failure patients for obstructive sleep apnea and then confirmed their diagnosis with a sleep study. The 70 resulting OSA and heart patients were given CPAP devices – and their compliance was monitored. Compliance was defined as, “a minimum of four hours of use, 70 percent of the time, for four weeks consecutively or more during the first three months of therapy.”
The roughly 50 percent of patients who were compliant with their CPAP therapy had significantly fewer hospital readmissions in the next six months than those who were not compliant. Researchers concluded that OSA treatment lessens hospital readmissions for heart patients only when patients are compliant with CPAP treatment.
Sleep Apnea Treatment At Surgical Sleep Solutions
We could not agree more that treating OSA means treating a wide range of other health conditions, including heart problems. We also know that CPAP therapy is often not used correctly or consistently by patients. At Surgical Sleep Solutions, we are dedicated to helping every OSA patient find the right treatment for their sleep disorder, whether it is through CPAP, an oral device, lifestyle changes, or OSA surgery. To learn more about our services, to speak with an OSA doctor, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us today by calling (855) 560-7378 or by filling out our contact form below.