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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to examine heart rate variability (HRV) among sleep stages in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients. The study was retrospective within subjects and examined the sleep stages and HRV in relation to OSA, age, body mass index (BMI), and sex. Data collected during diagnostic polysomnograms were used in this study. There were 105 clinical patients undergoing polysomnography for suspected OSA. We sampled the electrocardiogram (ECG) from wakefulness, stage 2, and REM sleep and analyzed for frequency domain HRV. Sampled epochs were free of apnea and arousals. Heart rate variability decreased with age. Total frequency variability (TF) and low frequency variability (LF) in wakefulness and REM sleep increased as apnea severity increased. Measures of TF, LF, and the LF/HF ratio were greatest in REM sleep. There was less LF and TF in Stage REM sleep in patients with higher BMI. In conclusion, the decrease in HRV with aging is a robust finding that occurs even in a clinical sleep apnea population. However, apnea does not mimic aging effects on the heart because HRV increased as apnea severity increased. The decrease in HRV during REM sleep in the obese apnea patients suggests the possibility of an autonomic dysfunction in this subgroup.
    Sleep And Breathing 04/2007; 11(1):53-60. · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study is to determine whether obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with reduced fetal growth, and whether nocturnal oxygen desaturation precipitates acute fetal heart rate changes. We performed a prospective observational study, screening 371 women in the second trimester for OSA symptoms. 41 subsequently underwent overnight sleep studies to diagnose OSA. Third trimester fetal growth was assessed using ultrasound. Fetal heart rate monitoring accompanied the sleep study. Cord blood was taken at delivery, to measure key regulators of fetal growth. Of 371 women screened, 108 (29%) were high risk for OSA. 26 high risk and 15 low risk women completed the longitudinal study; 14 had confirmed OSA (cases), and 27 were controls. The median (interquartile range) respiratory disturbance index (number of apnoeas, hypopnoeas or respiratory related arousals/hour of sleep) was 7.9 (6.1-13.8) for cases and 2.2 (1.3-3.5) for controls (p<0.001). Impaired fetal growth was observed in 43% (6/14) of cases, vs 11% (3/27) of controls (RR 2.67; 1.25-5.7; p = 0.04). Using logistic regression, only OSA (OR 6; 1.2-29.7, p = 0.03) and body mass index (OR 2.52; 1.09-5.80, p = 0.03) were significantly associated with impaired fetal growth. After adjusting for body mass index on multivariate analysis, the association between OSA and impaired fetal growth was not appreciably altered (OR 5.3; 0.93-30.34, p = 0.06), although just failed to achieve statistical significance. Prolonged fetal heart rate decelerations accompanied nocturnal oxygen desaturation in one fetus, subsequently found to be severely growth restricted. Fetal growth regulators showed changes in the expected direction- with IGF-1 lower, and IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-2 higher- in the cord blood of infants of cases vs controls, although were not significantly different. OSA may be associated with reduced fetal growth in late pregnancy. Further evaluation is warranted to establish whether OSA may be an important contributor to adverse perinatal outcome, including stillbirth.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(7):e68057. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is growing evidence of a causal relationship between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and hypertension. Untreated OSA may have direct and deleterious effects on cardiovascular function and structure through several mechanisms, including sympathetic activation, oxidative stress, inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction. OSA may contribute to or augment elevated blood pressure levels in a large proportion of the hypertensive patient population. It is important to consider OSA in the differential diagnosis of hypertensive patients who are obese. OSA should be especially considered in those hypertensive patients who respond poorly to combination therapy with antihypertensive medications.
    Current Cardiology Reports 12/2005; 7(6):435-40.