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CPAP improves daytime sleepiness even in patients with low levels of symptoms
Date:5/15/2011

ATS 2011, DENVER Continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, can increase alertness and even improve quality of life for sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), even if their symptoms are minimal, according to a study conducted by researchers in Europe. Patients enrolled in the study reported an improvement in daytime sleepiness within six months of beginning CPAP treatment.

The study will be presented at the ATS 2011 International Conference in Denver.

"Treatment with CPAP clearly reduces daytime sleepiness and improves quality of life in patients with very limited symptoms, at a rate of about half the improvement seen in patients with more severe symptoms," said Sonya Craig, research fellow at Churchill Hospital, Oxford.

"It is well-known that CPAP treatment greatly improves OSA patients who have substantial symptoms of daytime sleepiness," she added. "However, OSA with few symptoms, and sometimes no symptoms, is much more common, yet the effect of CPAP on these patients has not been adequately evaluated. In this study, we wanted to investigate the effect of CPAP on sleepiness and quality of life measurements in patients with minimally symptomatic OSA."

Researchers analyzed data from 341 patients from 10 medical centers, with proven OSA but insufficient current symptoms as judged by both the patient and the sleep physician to justify CPAP therapy. Patients were randomized to receive either six months of CPAP or no treatment. The Epworth Sleepiness Score, a standard scoring system used in sleep studies, was used to determine the change in daytime sleepiness measured at the start of the study, and again at follow-up six months later. Wakefulness and sleepiness were also measured using a second test, called the Oxford Sleep Resistance Test (OSLER), and quality of life was assessed using a standard questionnaire.

The researchers found that after six months of treatment, CPAP significantly reduced daytime sleepi
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Contact: Keely Savoie
kasavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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