Sleep Apnea Prevalent in Patients at Risk of Heart Failure From Cancer Therapy
SAN FRANCISCO — Sleep apnea is prevalent among cardio-oncology patients who are at higher risk of congestive heart failure following cancer therapy, a new study has said.
Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that occurs while sleeping and is classified as either obstructive (OSA) or central (CSA). Both can be treated to reduce symptoms and enhance cardiovascular health.
According to the study presented at the American College of Cardiology (ACC), among heart failure patients in the general population, OSA maintains a 48-52 per cent prevalence and is associated with heightened cardiovascular mortality and morbidity rates.
To conduct the study, the researchers used a sleep apnea questionnaire to evaluate the prevalence of the disorder among 296 general cardiology patients and 218 cardio-oncology patients.
Data was collected on traditional risk factors, STOP-BANG (Snoring, Tiredness, Observed apnea, Pressure – elevated blood pressure, BMI, Age, Neck, Gender) scores, and history of sleep for both groups.
In the general cardiology group, the occurrence of sleep apnea was 54 per cent, while in the cardio-oncology group, it was 39 per cent.
The prevalence of sleep apnea in the general cardiology group was found to be comparable to the rates reported in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction or heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.
“Identifying these individuals may allow early intervention in a risk factor clearly associated with heart failure now recognised to affect cancer therapy and survivorship,” said Mini K. Das, MD, medical director of the cardio-oncology programme at the US-based Baptist Health in Louisville and the study’s primary author.
A questionnaire for sleep apnea utilising the STOP-BANG score revealed that individuals who have not been treated for sleep apnea as well as those at increased risk of sleep apnea have abnormal left ventricular strain, a common echo parameter associated with adverse CV events.
“Sleep apnea should be incorporated into current risk algorithms and a larger study is needed to evaluate the impact of sleep apnea in this high-risk population,” Das said.