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Mild sleep apnoea linked with cardiovascular disease

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Even patients with mild symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) may face an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a new study.

Researchers compared 64 patients with mild sleep apnoea against 15 controls, and found that those mild OSA had an impaired endothelial function and increased arterial stiffness.

The mild apnoea patients’ measured flow-mediated dilatation was measured at 5.0 per cent, compared with 7.5 per cent in control subjects.

Only a fifth of patients with OSA complain of daytime sleepiness. ‘This finding suggests that many more people—some of whom may be completely unaware that they even have OSA—are at risk than previously thought,” said lead author of the study, Malcolm Kohler.

Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med (2008) 178: 984-988.

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