Cardiovascular consequences of sleep apnea

Clin Chest Med. 2010 Jun;31(2):203-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ccm.2010.02.010.


Cardiovascular disease has been the leading cause of death since 1900. Strategies for cardiovascular disease and prevention have helped to reduce the burden of disease, but it remains an important public health challenge. Therefore, understanding the underlying pathophysiology and developing novel therapeutic approaches for cardiovascular disease is of crucial importance. Recognizing the link between sleep and cardiovascular disease may represent one such novel approach. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a common form of sleep-disordered breathing, has a high and rising prevalence in the general adult population, attributable in part to the emerging epidemic of obesity and enhanced awareness. OSA has been independently linked to specific cardiovascular outcomes such as hypertension, stroke, myocardial ischemia, arrhythmias, fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events, and all-cause mortality. Treatment of OSA may represent a novel target to reduce cardiovascular health outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular System / physiopathology
  • Cheyne-Stokes Respiration / epidemiology
  • Cheyne-Stokes Respiration / physiopathology
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / complications*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / epidemiology
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Ventricular Dysfunction / physiopathology