(HealthDay News) – During an acute non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI), patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have less severe cardiac injury, according to a study published in the October issue of Sleep and Breathing.

Neomi Shah, MD, MPH, from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY, and colleagues examined the role of OSA on MI severity among 136 patients aged ≥18 years with acute MI, as measured by highly sensitive troponin-T levels. Participants underwent portable sleep monitoring, and the correlation between OSA and troponin-T levels was assessed.

The researchers found that 77% of the cohort had sleep disordered breathing and 35% met the criteria for OSA (apnea-hypopnea index [AHI] ≥5/hour). In partially and fully adjusted models, higher AHI correlated with lower peak troponin-T levels. The odds ratio for AHI was suggestive of a protective effect of OSA on high troponin-T levels in both partially and fully adjusted models.

“Our study demonstrates that patients with sleep apnea have less severe cardiac injury during an acute non-fatal MI when compared to patients without sleep apnea. This may suggest a cardioprotective role of sleep apnea during acute MI via ischemic preconditioning,” the authors write. “This study highlights the potentially complex relationship between OSA and coronary artery disease.”

A research grant was received from Resmed for scoring and reviewing of sleep studies by independent reviewers with no ties to Resmed.

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