Sleep-disordered breathing often occurs in patients with atrial fibrillation according to new research from Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany.
The authors used cardiorespiratory polygraphy to investigate whether 150 patients (110 men and 40 women) with atrial fibrillation suffered from sleep-disordered breathing. To avoid statistical bias, only patients with normal systolic left ventricular function were included. Mean age of the patients was around 65 years.
Seventy-four percent of patients in the study had sleep-disordered breathing. Of this group, 43% suffered from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and 31% suffered from central sleep apnea (CSA).
Awareness of OSA already plays an important role in the primary and secondary prevention of atrial fibrillation but the authors note that the results of this study indicate CSA is also relevant.
The study appears in the current edition of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International.