ISSN ONLINE: 2558-815X
ISSN PRINT: 1584-9244
ISSN-L: 1584-9244

Sleep apnea syndrome and cardiovascular risk

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Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a chronic disease that affects mainly the adults. The obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is characterized by episodes of obstructive apneas of hypopneas during sleep, disrupted sleep with respiratory effort-related arousals, with daytime symptoms such as sleepiness, fatigue, poor concentration. Studies have shown that OSA is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, such as arterial hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease, chronic heart failure, arrhythmias.
The mechanisms behind this increased association are the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, oxidative stress with endothelial dysfunction and chronic inflammation. Given the complex relationships between OSAS and cardiovascular diseases, patients with OSAS should be screened for cardiovascular diseases and viceversa, patients with diagnosed cardiovascular diseases should be screened for OSAS, preferably by polysomnography.OSAS is an important cause of resistant arterial hypertension, a common comorbidity in sleep apnea. Ischemic heart disease is also common in OSAS patients, and it is associated with higher risk of cardiovascular events. Atrial fibrillation and other tachyarrhythmias occur frequently in patients with OSAS, especially during the night.
Treatment of OSAS in patients with heart failure may increase the left ventricle ejection fraction and improve the quality of life, by improving the symptoms of heart failure.

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