(HealthDay News) — Patients with both atrial fibrillation and obstructive sleep apnea are less likely to have a recurrence of atrial fibrillation if they use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, a new report says. The results were published in the March 1 issue of JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology.
Researchers from the New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City reviewed seven studies that included 1,087 people with sleep apnea. They found that CPAP use was associated with a 42 percent reduction in the recurrence of atrial fibrillation.
“Our study confirms the expanding body of evidence that treatment of modifiable risk factors has a significant impact on the long-term suppression of atrial fibrillation regardless of the type of therapy offered,” study author Larry Chinitz, M.D., professor of medicine and cardiac electrophysiology at the New York University School of Medicine, said in a journal news release. “Technology for home screening of sleep apnea needs to be made widely available and become as routine as measurements of blood pressure and blood sugar levels in diabetics.”
Sleep apnea and several other conditions, including hypertension, obesity, and diabetes, contribute to the onset and progression of atrial fibrillation, journal editor-in-chief David Wilber, M.D., said in the news release. “This study provides important evidence that we need to identify and treat these associated conditions if our more direct efforts to suppress the arrhythmia by antiarrhythmic drugs or ablation are to be effective,” he added.
One author disclosed financial ties to Biotronik, Medtronic, Boston Scientific, and St. Jude Medical