Study objective: Recent studies report a link between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) syndrome, low vitamin D levels, and high parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentrations. The aim of the current study is to evaluate the effect of 7-night continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy on serum vitamin D, PTH, and calcium levels in patients with severe OSA syndrome.
Methods: Patients with severe OSA were enrolled into the study and compared to control subjects. Patients with OSA underwent CPAP therapy for 7 nights and were consequently divided into responders (OSA-R, mean residual AHI < 5/h) and nonresponders (OSA-nR, mean residual AHI > 5/h). Serum vitamin D, PTH, and calcium levels were measured at baseline in patients with severe OSA (apnea-hypopnea index > 30/h) and control subjects. Patients with OSA underwent a final morning blood sample after 7-night CPAP therapy.
Results: We enrolled 90 patients with OSA into the study (65 OSA-R and 25 OSA-nR) compared to 32 control subjects. At baseline, lower vitamin D and higher PTH levels were detected in the OSA group compared to controls. After 7-night CPAP therapy, male OSA-R patients showed a significant increase in vitamin D levels. Conversely, female OSA-R patients did not show the same increase in vitamin D levels. It was also observed that OSA-nR subjects did not show modifications of serum markers after nCPAP-therapy.
Conclusions: The study demonstrates that short-term nCPAP treatment is able to promote the recovery of vitamin D homeostasis in male patients with OSA. The mediation of sexual hormones in regulating vitamin D is a possible explanation of the lack of recovery of vitamin D homeostasis in female patients with OSA as it often affects postmenopausal women.
Keywords: CPAP; OSA; PTH; calcium; vitamin D.
© 2015 American Academy of Sleep Medicine.