Sleep and Breathing

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 85–91 | Cite as

Severe obstructive sleep apnea increases mortality in patients with ischemic heart disease and myocardial injury

  • Christine H. WonEmail author
  • Hyung J. Chun
  • Suparna M. Chandra
  • Priscilla S. Sarinas
  • Rajinder K. Chitkara
  • Paul A. Heidenreich
Original Article



We hypothesized that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has a dose-dependent impact on mortality in those with ischemic heart disease or previous myocardial injury.


We performed a retrospective cohort study of 281 consecutive OSA patients with a history of myocardial injury as determined by elevated troponin levels or with known existing ischemic heart disease. We compared survival between those with severe OSA [apnea–hypopnea index (AHI) ≥30] and those with mild to moderate OSA (AHI >5 and <30).


Of the 281 patients (mean age 65 years, mean BMI 34, 98% male, 58% with diabetes), 151 patients had mild-moderate OSA and 130 had severe OSA. During a mean follow-up of 4.1 years, there were significantly greater deaths in the severe OSA group compared to the mild-moderate OSA group [53 deaths (41%) vs. 44 deaths (29%), respectively, p = 0.04]. The adjusted hazard ratio for mortality with severe OSA was 1.72 (95% confidence interval 1.01–2.91, p = 0.04).


The severity of obstructive sleep apnea is associated with increased risk of death, and risk stratification based on OSA severity is relevant even in the diseased cardiac patient.


Obstructive sleep apnea Troponin Coronary artery disease Ischemic heart disease 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine H. Won
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Hyung J. Chun
    • 2
  • Suparna M. Chandra
    • 2
  • Priscilla S. Sarinas
    • 3
  • Rajinder K. Chitkara
    • 3
  • Paul A. Heidenreich
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.UCSF Sleep Disorders CenterUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Division of Cardiovascular MedicineStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  3. 3.VA Palo Alto Healthcare SystemPalo AltoUSA
  4. 4.Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care MedicineYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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