Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Hypertension: Why Treatment Does Not Consistently Improve Blood Pressure
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Purpose of Review
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and hypertension are two phenomena deeply linked together and, although a causal relationship has been suggested, a recent meta-analysis showed only a very modest effect of OSA treatment on blood pressure (BP). However, a vast number of randomized controlled trials published so far share some limitations, mainly of methodological nature: neither OSA nor BP is always assessed in a standardized way. Moreover, compliance with OSA treatment is often sub-optimal making the results of these trials difficult to interpret.
Recent studies have shown that antihypertensive drugs can reduce BP more than OSA treatment, showing a better compliance profile and very few side effects.
Considering the importance of reducing the overall cardiovascular risk of OSA patients, a more careful management of patient’s antihypertensive medication could allow a better BP control also in this condition. In addition, greater efforts should be made to improve patient’s acceptance of OSA treatment with the aim of improving their compliance.
KeywordsObstructive sleep apnea Hypertension Blood pressure Continuous positive airway pressure Mandibular advancement device
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
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