(HealthDay News) — Individuals with resistant hypertension (RH) have a high prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), with a dose-response association observed between the severity of OSA and blood pressure (BP) values, according to a study published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Esther Sapiña-Beltrán, from the Hospital Universitari Arnau de Vilanova and Santa Maria in Lleida, Spain, and colleagues conducted a multicenter study to examine the prevalence of OSA among patients with RH. A total of 284 RH patients underwent a formal sleep test and BP measurements, including 24-hour ambulatory BP monitoring.

The researchers found that 83.5% of the RH patients had OSA, including 31.7, 25.7, and 26.1% with mild, moderate, and severe OSA, respectively. BP values were higher for patients with severe OSA versus those with mild-to-moderate OSA or non-OSA individuals. The effect was greater on average nighttime BP, with an adjusted effect of 5.72 mm Hg (95% confidence interval, 1.08 to 10.35 mm Hg) in severe OSA versus non-OSA individuals. There was a dose-response correlation between the severity of OSA and BP values. In participants with uncontrolled BP, the prevalence of severe OSA was slightly higher, but this finding was not statistically significant (adjusted odds ratio, 1.69; 95% confidence interval, 0.97 to 2.99).

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“The results highlight the importance of identifying OSA in RH subjects to reduce its impact on blood pressure control through appropriate treatment,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the medical device industry.


Sapiña-Beltrán E, Torres G, Benitez I, et al. Prevalence, Characteristics and Association of Obstructive Sleep Apnea with Blood Pressure Control in Patients with Resistant Hypertension. Ann Amer Thorac Soc. doi:10.1513/AnnalsATS.201901-053OC