Purpose of review: Recent studies have provided evidence that severe obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) may warrant inclusion in the list of coronary heart disease (CHD) equivalents.
Recent findings: Data within the past 12 months provide insight into complex issues. Specifically, OSA was shown to play an important role in the development of inflammation and atherosclerosis, but its effects on endothelial dysfunction were equivocal. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment was linked with significant improvements in heart function, blood pressure and total cholesterol, but the effect was not always the most significant.
Summary: At present, caution is warranted in the interpretation of results. In the future, data from randomized controlled trials with longer duration are expected to shed more light on the relationship between CHD and OSA and on what can be expected from CPAP regarding CHD risk factors.