Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome: Blood Viscosity, Blood Coagulation Abnormalities, and Early Atherosclerosis
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Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis and arterial thrombosis, which are associated with high cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and mortality. In studies performed in clinical populations with elevated CV event risk profiles, the occurrence of moderate to severe OSAS was very often accompanied by a worsened vascular function and increased prevalence of structural abnormalities. Recent investigations of atherosclerosis in OSAS have focused on thrombotic tendency and blood viscosity, providing new insight into mechanisms of the disease. Despite that knowledge about the mechanisms of development of CV disease in patients with OSAS is still incomplete, observations confirm a relationship between sleep-disordered breathing and the rheological properties (flow properties) of blood. While platelet dysfunction and hypercoagulability (PDMPs, PaI-1, and SF) play important roles in the pathogenesis of vascular disease, there are limited studies on the potential role of blood viscosity in the development of vascular disease in OSAS.
KeywordsObstructive sleep apnea syndrome Blood viscosity Hemostatic alterations Early atherosclerosis
The authors thank Miss Stephanie Grice MBiochem, MSc (Oxon), from the UK, for the editing of this manuscript.
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.
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