A US study of people with both sleep apnoea and heart disease has found that positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy can reduce the number of hospital visits.
The research, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, looked at over 100 people who were in hospital with a heart-related condition that also reported having symptoms of sleep apnoea. 78% of these participants were then formally diagnosed with sleep apnoea and were started on PAP therapy. Scientists monitored their adherence to the treatment programme, which involved using PAP therapy for four or more hours per night for at least 70% of nights.
None of those who were most compliant with the programme had to go back to the hospital for a heart problem within 30 days of the previous discharge. On the other hand, 30% of participants that partially used PAP therapy, and 29% of those that did not use it were readmitted within 30 days.
The researchers believe that these findings show a need to diagnose and treat sleep apnoea in people with heart disease in order to improve their quality of life.
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