Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a novel risk factor for sudden cardiac death (SCD), according to a study published June 11 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology JACC.
The study looked at 10,701 adults referred for polysomnography (sleep study) and followed them for an average of 5.3 years for incidents of resuscitated or fatal SCD.
Results showed that 142 patients experienced SCD, with the most common predictors being a patient aged 60 years or above , having 20 apnea episodes an hour and having a lowest nocturnal oxygen saturation level of below 78 percent.
Results showed that the severity of nocturnal hypoxemia strongly predicts SCD independently of other risk factors. In the lowest nocturnal oxygen saturation, a drop to below 78 percent increases a patient’s risk of SCD by 81 percent.
“People at risk for OSA ought to be screened with a sleep study, and potentially then being treated for sleep apnea might reduce the risk of dying suddenly,” says Deepak Bhatt, MD, MPH, FACC, in a CardioSource Video News interview on the study’s findings.
It is well known that sleep apnea is seen in obese individuals and can lead to high blood pressure and heart beat problems in the long run.
Prompt recognition and Early treatment of OSA in obese individuals is recommended.