CPAP Reduces Congestive Heart Failure Exacerbations – a Study

Wearing CPAP every night can be a challenge for some patients, but a recent study published in The American Journal of Cardiology gives you a one more reason to be compliant with your CPAP therapy.

“Our research showed that early recognition and treatment of patients hospitalized with decompensated congestive heart failure is associated with a reduction in readmissions, for patients who use their positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy on a regular basis,” said first author Sunil Sharma, M.D., FAASM, Associate Professor of Pulmonary Medicine in the Thomas Jefferson University. “Importantly, hospitals can implement cost-effective screening programs to catch sleep apnea in hospitalized, high-risk patients.”

Dr. Sharma and the team screened patients admitted to the hospital with heart failure, for underlying sleep disordered breathing. Of the 75 patients that followed up with an outpatient polysomnography, the gold standard test, 70 received the diagnosis of sleep disordered breathing. Over the next six months, the team tracked patients’ PAP compliance, emergency room visits and readmissions. Compliance was monitored objectively by the device computer and 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.

CPAP compliant patients had a significant reduction(mean ± SE: – 1.5± 0.2 clinical events Vs – 0.2 ± 0.3). 

In this study, the identification and treatment of SDB in admitted CHF patients with SDB is associated with reduced readmissions over 6 months after discharge. Adherence to the treatment was associated with a greater reduction in exacerbation of Congestive Heart Failure.

Wear CPAP every night, even when traveling. You do not want to wake up tired, sleepy, and short of breath.