Cardiovascular complications of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome: evidence from children

Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2009 Mar-Apr;51(5):416-33. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2008.03.002.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) is a common condition in children, and is characterized by intermittent partial or complete occlusion of the upper airway during sleep, leading to profound disturbances in homeostatic gas exchange, frequent arousals and disturbed sleep architecture. Pediatric OSAS is associated with a multitude of end-organ morbidities, most of which have been uncovered in the last decade. Of particular interest are the cardiovascular complications that may develop in children with OSAS, since they are posited to have not only an immediately significant impact on cardiovascular health during childhood, but may also affect cardiovascular outcomes later during adult life. In this review, we will present the specific cardiovascular complications that have thus far been described in children with OSAS, with reference to pertinent mechanisms, and potential implications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atherosclerosis / etiology
  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / etiology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Mental Disorders / etiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy
  • Ventricular Remodeling