What is the association between atherosclerosis and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Himanshu Wickramasinghe, MD, MBBS; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

OSA has been linked with the development of atherosclerosis. In a study of 36 subjects [96] with OSA and 16 matched controls, all without comorbidities, subjects with moderate-to-severe OSA were found to have increased carotid intima media thickness, increased pulse wave velocity, and increased carotid diameter, all of which are consistent with atherosclerosis. Abnormalities in these parameters were predicted by either the AHI or the degree of nocturnal desaturation. A 2007 follow-up study showed regression of these abnormalities after nasal CPAP. [97]


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