Sleep and Breathing

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 1217–1224 | Cite as

Long-term CPAP treatment improves asthma control in patients with asthma and obstructive sleep apnoea

  • Paula Kauppi
  • Patrick Bachour
  • Paula Maasilta
  • Adel Bachour
Sleep Breathing Physiology and Disorders • Original Article



Both asthma and obstructive sleep apnoea cause sleep disturbance, daytime sleepiness and diminished quality of life. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is efficient in reducing symptoms related to sleep apnoea. Here we report the impact of long-term use of CPAP on asthma symptoms.


A survey questionnaire was distributed to all of our obstructive sleep apnoea patients with CPAP therapy in 2013. We used the Finnish version of the Asthma Control Test™ (ACT) and a visual analogue scale (0 = no symptoms, 100 = severe asthma symptoms). Asthma was defined as self-reported physician-diagnosed disease and a special reimbursement for asthma medication by the Social Insurance Institution.


We sent 2577 questionnaires and received 1586 answers (61 %). One hundred ninety-seven patients were asthmatics with a prevalence of asthma among CPAP users of 13 %. We studied 152 patients (58 females) whose CPAP therapy was initiated after starting asthma medication. Their mean (SD) age was 62 (10) years, duration of CPAP 5.7 (4.7) years and their CPAP daily use was 6.3 (2.4) h. Self-reported asthma severity decreased significantly from 48.3 (29.6) to 33.1 (27.4) (p < 0.001), and ACT score increased significantly from 15.35 (5.3) to 19.8 (4.6) (p < 0.001) without a significant change in the body mass index (BMI). The percentage of patients using rescue medication daily reduced from 36 to 8 % with CPAP (P < 0.001).


We noticed a significant decrease in asthma symptoms with long-term use of CPAP in patients with both asthma and obstructive sleep apnoea.


Asthma Obstructive sleep apnoea CPAP 



PK and AB had full access to all of the data and contributed substantially to the study design, data analysis and interpretation and the writing of the manuscript. PB had full access to data and contributed substantially to the data analysis and writing of the manuscript. PM contributed substantially to the study design, data interpretation and the writing of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


The Helsinki University Special Fund provided financial support in the form of research grant funding. The sponsor had no role in the design or conduct of this research.

Conflict of interest

All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent licensing arrangements) or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paula Kauppi
    • 1
  • Patrick Bachour
    • 2
  • Paula Maasilta
    • 2
  • Adel Bachour
    • 2
  1. 1.Inflammation Centre, Skin and Allergy HospitalUniversity of Helsinki and Helsinki University HospitalHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Heart and Lung CentreUniversity of Helsinki and Helsinki University HospitalHelsinkiFinland

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