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Sleep apnea treatment helps patients and partners

(NORTHBROOK, IL, September 8, 2003) Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) not only improves patients' lives, it can improve the lives of their bed partners, says a study published in the September issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP). The study found that when patients with OSA were treated with CPAP, the mental and physical health, and overall quality of life (QOL) of patients and their bed partners significantly improved. OSA is a common disorder that is characterized by repetitive episodes of upper airway closures during sleep that result in arousal from sleep and can often lead to daytime sleepiness. CPAP prevents upper airway closure, improving sleep quality and, subsequently, reducing daytime sleepiness.

"Snoring and sleep apnea interfere with the quality of sleep of both the patient and the bed partner. Many bed partners choose to sleep in separate rooms rather than endure continuous sleepless nights caused by sleep apnea," said lead author James M. Parish, MD, FCCP, Chair, Division of Pulmonary Medicine and Director, Sleep Disorders Center, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona. "With CPAP therapy, patients and their partners can experience restful nights which can ultimately benefit them physically and mentally."

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale examined the effects of OSA on QOL in 54 pairs of patients and their regular bed partners and the effects of CPAP therapy on QOL in both groups after six weeks of patient treatment. Patients and bed partners completed three pre- and post-treatment questionnaires on their likelihood to fall asleep in routine situations, their overall physical and mental QOL, and their QOL specifically related to their experience with OSA. Prior to therapy, patients reported situational sleepiness more than the national norm, and overall QOL was significantly lower than national norms. In
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Contact: Arielle Green
agreen@chestnet.org
847-498-8387
American College of Chest Physicians
8-Sep-2003


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