SEATTLE, WA—Treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) has shown incremental improvement in physical activity (PA) and sleep quality in as early three months, according to data presented at SLEEP 2015.

Manideep Duttuluri, MCBS, and colleagues from Mount Sinai St. Luke’s & Roosevelt Hospitals in New York reported on a prospective, longitudinal study conducted between March 2012 and July 2014. The researchers evaluated 62 patients with a primary diagnosis of OSA by polysomnography. Among all subjects, the mean age was 53±13 years, 42% were female, and the mean BMI was 38±11kg/m2. Of the subjects, 86% had moderate to severe sleep apnea (AHI ≥15).

Approximately 73% of subjects were compliant with CPAP use (>4 hours/day). Poor sleep quality correlated with lower actual PA (P=0.004) at baseline. At three and seven months, there was significant improvement in sleep quality (delta, -2.63±3.4 and delta, -3.5±3.8; P<0.001) and actual PA (delta, 840±1313 and delta, 1431±1419 steps/day, P<0.001) compared to baseline. On multivariate analyses, subjects with a higher waist circumference had a significantly greater increase in actual PA (P=0.018)

Progressive improvement was seen in sleep quality and level of physical activity in patients with OSA treated with CPAP. “Strangely, though, the clinical effect did not correlate with compliance or OSA severity,” noted Raymonde Jean, MD, a study coauthor.

“More studies are needed in the future to determine whether long-term impact of CPAP on physical activity is an independent factor for improvement in metabolic syndrome, Duttuluri added.