Obstructive sleep apnea during the chronic stroke recovery period: Comparison between primary haemorrhagic and ischaemic events

J Sleep Res. 2022 Apr;31(2):e13460. doi: 10.1111/jsr.13460. Epub 2021 Aug 21.


The present study retrospectively determined the incidence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) after a primary haemorrhagic event compared to an ischaemic stroke during the post-acute recovery period ( x¯ > 3 months). Consideration of medications taken during the sleep evaluation provided additional information on the association between OSA and pathophysiological conditions that may increase the risk of a repeated cardiovascular event. The medical records from 103 patients that underwent a type I fully attended overnight polysomnography as a standard evaluation procedure at a rehabilitation facility were reviewed. Diagnosis of ischaemic or primary haemorrhagic stroke was obtained from a neurological report that was typically confirmed by imaging. Medications taken at the time of the sleep study were documented. Age-adjusted assessment of sleep-disordered breathing revealed a higher incidence of apnea and hypopnea in the ischaemic stroke group (p < 0.005). Patients with ischaemic stroke were also more likely to have severe OSA (p < 0.005). In comparison, a higher percentage of patients with haemorrhagic stroke had an apnea-hypopnea index <5 events/hr (p < 0.005). Those with an ischaemic stroke were taking more lipid lowering agents (p < 0.05). Results suggest that apnea is less prevalent after a haemorrhagic stroke, independent of hypertension, compared to an ischaemic stroke. An increase in predictive values for OSA was observed for indicators of diabetes (p < 0.05). These data indicate that it is relevant to consider stroke type when determining the risk of OSA during the chronic recovery period thus facilitating new strategies for stroke recurrence prevention.

Keywords: haemorrhagic; ischaemic; obstructive sleep apnea; stroke.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Ischemia* / complications
  • Brain Ischemia* / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke*
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Stroke*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive* / complications
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive* / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive* / epidemiology
  • Stroke* / complications
  • Stroke* / epidemiology