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Editorials |

Sleep-Disordered Breathing: A Heart-Changing Experience?

Don D. Sin
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Edmonton, AB, Canada
 ,  Dr. Sin is Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Alberta.

Correspondence to: Don D. Sin, MD, FCCP, 2E4.29 Walter C. Mackenzie Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2B7; e-mail: don.sin@ualberta.ca



Chest. 2003;124(3):778-780. doi:10.1378/chest.124.3.778
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Increasingly, sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is recognized as an important risk factor for coronary atherosclerosis and heart disease. Several large epidemiologic studies12 have demonstrated that SDB increases the risk of heart disease by approximately twofold to fourfold, independent of other risk factors. While the exact mechanisms responsible for this association are largely unknown, there is credible evidence to indicate SDB can increase systemic BP34 and sympathetic drive.5 It may also elevate circulating levels of fibrinogen6 and C-reactive protein,7 triggering a cascade of events that eventually leads to thrombus formation in the coronary vasculature. Treatment of SDB, usually with continuous positive airway pressure, leads to significant improvements in these physiologic parameters.8

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