Obstructive Sleep Apnea is again linked to cardiovascular disease

Clogged artery and atherosclerosis disease medical concept with a three dimensional human artery with blood cells that is blocked by plaque buildup of cholesterol as a symbol of arteriosclerotic vascular diseases.

Obstruction Sleep Apnea (OSA) triples the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.  CD59, a protective protein has been shown to be reduced in OSA patients. This protein helps to block the inflammatory process within the heart.  The endothelial cells that line our blood vessels store CD59 to prevent vascular injury.  Hypoxia associated with OSA, severely reduces this protein.   The result is an increase in arteriosclerosis and heart disease.

CD59 reduction has been shown to be Cholesterol dependent.  It was shown to be reversed in OSA patients that were on Statins.  Therefore, it is important that OSA patients take their cholesterol lowering medications.  Don’t think you are safe if you are taking statins and stop your OSA treatment.  You are not!  This is just one of the pathways affected by OSA that contributes to cardiovascular disease.

Richard Hamburg MD SleepMD Anti Snoring Mouthpiece