Prevalence and physiological predictors of sleep apnea in patients with heart failure and systolic dysfunction

J Card Fail. 2009 May;15(4):279-85. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2008.11.015. Epub 2009 Jan 21.


Background: Previous studies reported high prevalences of obstructive and central sleep apnea (OSA and CSA, respectively) in patients with heart failure (HF). However, these preceded widespread use of beta-blockers and spironolactone that might have reduced their prevalences. We therefore determined, in patients with HF, prevalences and predictors of OSA and CSA and the influence of changes in HF therapy on prevalences.

Methods and results: A total of 218 HF patients with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) <or=45% underwent sleep studies between 1997 and 2004 and were classified as having moderate to severe sleep apnea (apnea-hypopnea index >or=15 hours of sleep, either OSA or CSA), or mild to no sleep apnea. The prevalence of moderate to severe OSA was 26% and of CSA was 21%. Predictors of OSA were older age, male sex, and greater body mass index, and of CSA were older age, male sex, atrial fibrillation, hypocapnia, and diuretic use. Between 1997 and 2004, the prevalences of OSA and CSA did not change significantly (P(trend) =.460, P(trend) =.211, respectively) despite increased use of beta-blockers and spironolactone (P(trend) < .001, P(trend) < .001, respectively), and an increase in LVEF (P(trend)=.005).

Conclusions: OSA and CSA remain common in patients with HF, despite increases in beta-blocker and spironolactone use.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology*
  • Heart Failure, Systolic / drug therapy
  • Heart Failure, Systolic / epidemiology
  • Heart Failure, Systolic / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors
  • Sleep Apnea, Central / drug therapy
  • Sleep Apnea, Central / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Apnea, Central / physiopathology*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / drug therapy
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Spironolactone / therapeutic use
  • Young Adult


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Spironolactone