Seniors with untreated sleep apnea have higher risk of cardiovascular death, study finds

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Seniors with untreated obstructive sleep apnea have a higher risk for dying from a cardiovascular problem, according to a new Spanish study.

In the first large-scale observational study of its kind, researchers from Spain's La Fe University followed 939 seniors with severe obstructive sleep apnea for close to six years. They found that those who didn't seek treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for the disorder had a much higher risk of cardiovascular mortality, especially stroke and heart failure.
 
However, participants who did use CPAP had cardiovascular mortality levels similar to the general population, according to the study.
 
"Our finding that adequate CPAP treatment is associated with significant reductions in cardiovascular mortality in patients with OSA has important implications, especially given the increasing elderly population," lead researcher Miguel Angel Martinez-Garcia, M.D., told Asian News International.
 
The study was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
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