Effects of continuous positive airway pressure on cardiovascular biomarkers in patients with obstructive sleep apnea: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Ning, Y.; Zhang, T-Song.; Wen, W-Wan.; Li, K.; Yang, Y-Xiao.; Qin, Y-Wen.; Zhang, H-Na.; Du, Y-Hui.; Li, L-Yi.; Yang, S.; Yang, Y-Yun.; Zhu, M-Miao.; Jiao, X-Lu.; Zhang, Y.; Zhang, M.; Wei, Y-Xiang.

Sleep and Breathing 23(1): 77-86


ISSN/ISBN: 1520-9512
PMID: 29682699
DOI: 10.1007/s11325-018-1662-2
Accession: 060228224

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Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with increased levels of systemic inflammatory markers, increased arterial stiffness, and endothelial dysfunction, which may lead to increased cardiovascular risk. We aimed to quantify the effects of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) on cardiovascular biomarkers and to establish predictors of response to CPAP. We searched PubMed and the Cochrane Library from inception to May 31, 2017. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the efficacy of CPAP on high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor- alpha (TNF-α), augmentation index (AIx), pulse wave velocity (PWV), and flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) in patients with OSA were selected by consensus. We included 15 RCTs comprising 1090 patients in the meta-analysis. The pooled standard mean difference (SMD) of effect of CPAP on hs-CRP was - 0.64 (95% confidence interval (CI) - 1.19 to - 0.09; P = 0.02). CPAP was associated with a reduction in AIx of 1.53% (95% CI, 0.80 to 2.26%; P < 0.001) and a significant increase in FMD of 3.96% (95% CI 1.34 to 6.59%; P = 0.003). Subgroup analyses found CPAP was likely to be more effective in improving FMD levels in severe OSA patients or patients with effective CPAP use ≥ 4 h/night. Among patients with OSA, CPAP improves inflammatory marker hs-CRP, arterial stiffness marker AIx, and endothelial function marker FMD. These biomarkers may provide information related to response to treatment. Future studies will need to clarify the efficacy of these biomarkers in assessing cardiovascular risk reduction among OSA treated with CPAP.