Elderly people with sleep apnea should be treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines. According to a new study, the treatment does not only alleviate their sleep disorder, it also reduces the risk of cardiovascular death.
New research, which was recently presented at the American Thoracic Society’s International Conference, suggests that severe obstructive sleep apnea is associated with cardiovascular mortality, heart failure, and even stroke.
Led by Dr. Miguel Angel Martinez-Garcia, a group of researchers followed more than 900 elderly patients—who suffered from sleep apnea—from 1999 to 2007. They found that CPAP treatment reduced risks of mortality among patients with OSA.
“Our study provides an excellent scientific basis for further studies in this area given a lack of scientific evidence on the impact of sleep apnea and the role of CPAP treatment in elderly patients,” explained Martinez-Garcia. “These findings clearly support the fact that treatment with CPAP is effective in elderly people and therefore, within logical limits, it must be a treatment that is offered to patients with severe or symptomatic OSA regardless of their age.”