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Original Research: Sleep Disorders |

OSA and Depression Are Common and Independently Associated With Refractory Angina in Patients With Coronary Artery DiseaseOSA, Depression in Patients With Heart Disease FREE TO VIEW

Glaucylara R. Geovanini, MD; Luis H. W. Gowdak, PhD; Alexandre C. Pereira, PhD; Naury de Jesus Danzi-Soares, PhD; Luciana O. C. Dourado, MD; Nilson T. Poppi, MD; Luiz Antonio Machado Cesar, PhD; Luciano F. Drager, PhD; Geraldo Lorenzi-Filho, PhD
Author and Funding Information

From the Sleep Laboratory, Pulmonary Division (Drs Geovanini, Danzi-Soares, Drager, and Lorenzi-Filho), Refractory Angina Research Group (Drs Gowdak, Pereira, Dourado, Poppi, and Cesar), and Hypertension Unit (Dr Drager), Heart Institute (InCor), University of São Paulo Medical School, São Paulo, Brazil.

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Geraldo Lorenzi-Filho, PhD, Sleep Laboratory, Insitituto do Coração, Av. Eneas Carvalho de Aguiar, 44, São Paulo, 05403-900, Brazil; e-mail: geraldo.lorenzi@gmail.com


FUNDING/SUPPORT: This study was supported by the Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) and Fundação Zerbini, São Paulo, Brazil.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2014;146(1):73-80. doi:10.1378/chest.13-2885
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OBJECTIVE:  Refractory angina is a severe form of coronary artery disease (CAD) characterized by persistent angina despite optimal medical therapy. OSA and depression are common in patients with stable CAD and may contribute to a poor prognosis. We hypothesized that OSA and depression are more common and more severe in patients with refractory angina than in patients with stable CAD.

METHODS:  We used standardized questionnaires and full polysomnography to compare consecutive patients with well-established refractory angina vs consecutive patients with stable CAD evaluated for coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

RESULTS:  Patients with refractory angina (n = 70) compared with patients with stable CAD (n = 70) were similar in sex distribution (male, 61.5% vs 75.5%; P = .07) and BMI (29.5 ± 4 kg/m2 vs 28.5 ± 4 kg/m2, P = .06), and were older (61 ± 10 y vs 57 ± 7 y, P = .013), respectively. Patients with refractory angina had significantly more symptoms of daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale score, 12 ± 6 vs 8 ± 5; P < .001), had higher depression symptom scores (Beck Depression Inventory score, 19 ± 8 vs 10 ± 8; P < .001) despite greater use of antidepressants, had a higher apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) (AHI, 37 ± 30 events/h vs 23 ± 20 events/h; P = .001), higher proportion of oxygen saturation < 90% during sleep (8% ± 13 vs 4% ± 9, P = .04), and a higher proportion of severe OSA (AHI ≥ 30 events/h, 48% vs 27%; P = .009) than patients with stable CAD. OSA (P = .017), depression (P < .001), higher Epworth Sleepiness Scale score (P = .007), and lower sleep efficiency (P = .016) were independently associated with refractory angina in multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSIONS:  OSA and depression are independently associated with refractory angina and may contribute to poor cardiovascular outcome.

Figures in this Article

OSA is a common, frequently underdiagnosed condition characterized by recurrent interruption of respiration during sleep, leading to intermittent hypoxia and fragmented sleep.1 The prevalence of OSA in patients with hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and coronary artery disease (CAD) ranges from 30% to 70%.25 OSA and cardiovascular disease share several risk factors, including male sex, obesity, and increasing age. OSA triggers multiple pathways, such as increased sympathetic activity, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance, that may initiate or accelerate the underlying cardiovascular disease.6 OSA is independently associated with endothelial dysfunction, acceleration of atherosclerosis, and increased mortality due to myocardial infarction and stroke.7 This causal link may help explain why the worse the underlying cardiovascular disease, the higher the prevalence of OSA in cross-sectional studies. For instance, OSA is about 1.5 to 2 times more frequent in patients with resistant hypertension than in patients with controlled hypertension (70%-83%8 vs 37%-56%,5 respectively). Among consecutive patients with established metabolic syndrome, the higher the number of criteria for metabolic syndrome the higher the frequency of OSA.4

Refractory angina is a severe form of CAD characterized by angina caused by coronary insufficiency that cannot be controlled by traditional therapy.9,10 The prevalence of refractory angina among patients with CAD ranges from 9.6% to 14%.1113 Patients with refractory angina receiving optimal medical management are not eligible for coronary angiography or revascularization despite significant symptoms.14 Although OSA has been extensively studied in patients with CAD, to the best of our knowledge, it has not been evaluated in patients with refractory angina. We hypothesized that OSA is more common and more severe in patients with refractory angina than in patients with stable CAD awaiting a coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). In addition, because patients with refractory angina continue to experience angina despite optimal treatment, we hypothesized that symptoms of depression are more common in these patients than in patients with stable angina. The importance of the present study is that both OSA and depression may trigger pathways that are deleterious to the cardiovascular system and have been consistently associated with poor cardiovascular prognosis.2,3,1517

Study Population

We evaluated consecutive patients diagnosed with refractory angina from August 2011 to February 2013 who were referred to a specialized outpatient clinic of a tertiary university hospital. Refractory angina was defined according to the European Society of Cardiology as a chronic condition, > 3 months in duration, characterized by angina caused by coronary insufficiency in the setting of CAD, which cannot be controlled by a combination of medical therapy, angioplasty, and coronary bypass surgery.9 We excluded patients with Canadian Cardiology Society (CCS) angina symptom class < 2,18 previous stroke with disability, or unstable clinical condition. The group of patients with refractory angina was compared with a control group of patients with stable CAD (previously reported)19 evaluated for CABG. This study was conducted in accordance with the amended Declaration of Helsinki and approved by the research review board (CAPPesq No. 137/11). All participants gave written informed consent.

Clinical Examination and Questionnaires

All participants underwent a detailed history and physical examination, including BP, heart rate, waist and neck circumferences, and BMI. Laboratory evaluation included venous blood for measurement of glucose, cholesterol, triglyceride, urea, and creatinine levels. The average of the last two arterial BP measures was used. Current hypertension was defined as systolic BP ≥ 140 mm Hg or diastolic BP ≥ 90 mm Hg. History of hypertension was defined as use of antihypertensive medication. All patients were evaluated with the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) questionnaires. ESS was used to evaluate subjective excessive daytime sleepiness.20 The PSQI is a measure of subjective sleep disturbance. The 18 PSQI items are divided into seven sleep domains: sleep duration, sleep disturbance, sleep latency, daytime disturbance, habitual sleep efficiency, sleep quality, and use of sleep medications. Global scores > 5 distinguish poor sleepers from good sleepers, with high sensitivity (90%-99%) and specificity (84%-87%).21,22 The BDI is used for detecting depressive symptoms. The thresholds for levels of severity are 0-13 (minimal/no depression), 14-19 (mild depression), 20-28 (moderate depression), and 29-63 (severe depression).23

Sleep Study

All subjects underwent full polysomnography (Embla Systems) in a one-night study performed at the sleep laboratory. Standard overnight parameters analyzed were EEG (C3/A2, C4/A1, O1/A2, O2/A1), electrooculography, submental and anterior tibialis electromyography, pulse oximetry, measurements of airflow thermistor and nasal pressure, body position detector, snoring sound detector, and measurement of rib cage and abdominal movements during breathing. The interpretation of the polysomnography was done without the knowledge of the patient’s clinical status. Sleep staging and OSA diagnosis were scored using standard Rechtschaffen and Kales-Task Force American Academy 2007 criteria. Arousals were defined as an abrupt change in EEG frequency during ≥ 3 s as previously described.24 In this study, we scored these events as arousal only when they lasted < 15 s and scored them as awakening whenever they lasted ≥ 15 s. Hypopnea was defined as a 50% decrement in airflow lasting ≥ 10 s that was associated with oxygen desaturation of 3% or with arousal. Apnea was defined as cessation of airflow for ≥ 10 s (whether central, obstructive, or mixed). Obstructive apneas were classified based on the presence of thoracic effort. OSA was defined according to the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) as mild (5-14.9), moderate (15-29.9), and severe (≥30 events/h).24

Statistical Analysis

Data were analyzed with SPSS, version 20.0 (IBM) statistical software. Continuous variables are presented as mean ± SD and categorical variables are presented as percentages. For the between-group (angina refractory vs stable CAD) comparison, we used the Student t test, or the Mann-Whitney test when the variables did not have normal distribution using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. Categorical variables were compared between groups through the χ2 test, or the Fisher exact test when the sample was insufficient to apply the χ2. Variables with P < .1 on univariate analysis were entered into a multivariate analysis. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine the characteristics independently associated with patients with refractory angina. P < .05 was considered statistically significant.

We evaluated 79 consecutive patients with clinical suspicion of refractory angina. Nine were excluded (three had CCS class 1 angina symptoms, three refused to participate, one had a severe stroke-related disability, one was not clinically stable, and one was engaged in another clinical study). Therefore, the final sample comprised 70 patients with refractory angina. The control group comprised 70 patients with stable CAD, previously described.19

The demographic and clinical characteristics of the patients with refractory angina and those with stable CAD are depicted in Table 1. The patients with refractory angina were, on average, 4 years older than the patients with stable CAD. The prevalence of comorbidities was higher in the refractory angina group. The severity of coronary artery stenosis (expressed as one, two, and three relevant coronary-vessel stenosis) was significantly higher in the patients with refractory angina than in those with stable CAD (5.7%, 22.9%, and 71.4% vs 2.9%, 8.6%, and 88.5%, respectively; P = .013). In the refractory angina group, the patient percentages by angina symptom class were CCS 2 (25%), CCS 3 (42%), and CCS 4 (33%). This group also was more aggressively treated, had fewer smokers, and had lower systolic and diastolic BP. Patients with refractory angina had more symptoms of depression and were using more antidepressants than patients with stable CAD (Table 1).

Table Graphic Jump Location
TABLE 1  ] Comparison of Baseline Characteristics Between Patients With Refractory Angina and Patients With Stable CAD

Data are given as mean ± SD or percentages. ACE = angiotensin-converting enzyme; ARB = angiotensin receptor blocker; CAD = coronary artery disease; CCB = calcium-channel blocker; HDL = high-density lipoprotein; LDL = low-density lipoprotein.

Objective analysis of polysomnography characteristics and questionnaires per study group is shown in Table 2. Patients with refractory angina had lower sleep efficiency, lower total sleep time, higher percentage of light sleep (stage N1), and a lower percentage of deep sleep (slow-wave sleep, N3) compared with patients with stable CAD. In addition, these patients had higher AHI and longer apneas than patients with stable CAD. Patients with refractory angina had a worse quality of sleep (by PSQI score) and more daytime sleepiness (by ESS score) than patients with stable CAD.

Table Graphic Jump Location
TABLE 2  ] Comparison of Sleep Characteristics Between Patients With Refractory Angina and Stable CAD

Data are given as mean ± SD or percentages. AHI = apnea-hypopnea index; AI = apnea index; BDI = Beck Depression Inventory; ESS = Epworth Sleepiness Scale; HI = hypopnea index; NREM = non-rapid eye movement; PSQI = Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; REM = rapid eye movement; Spo2 = oxygen saturation; TST = total sleep time. See Table 1 legend for expansion of other abbreviation.

a 

Stages N1, N2, and N3 represent stages of NREM sleep.

b 

Stage N3 represents slow-wave sleep.

OSA was more frequent in the refractory angina group compared with the stable CAD group (73% vs 54%, respectively). The severity of OSA also was associated with CAD severity group (49% vs 27%, respectively) (Fig 1). Multiple regression analysis showed that after adjusting for confounding variables, including sex, age, and BMI, OSA and depression remained independently associated with refractory angina (Table 3). There were no associations between the presence of OSA, daytime sleepiness (ESS score), quality of sleep (by PSQI score) in the refractory angina group, except for significantly higher BDI score among patients with an AHI ≤ 10 events/h (P = .03) (Fig 2).

Figure Jump LinkFigure 1  The frequency of OSA (classified by AHI events per hour of sleep) in the refractory angina and stable CAD groups. The frequency of AHI ≥ 10, ≥ 15, and ≥ 30 events/h was significantly higher in the refractory angina group. AHI = apnea-hypopnea index; CAD = coronary artery disease.Grahic Jump Location
Table Graphic Jump Location
TABLE 3  ] Factors Associated With Refractory Angina Group Evaluated by Multiple Regression Analysis

See Table 2 legend for expansion of abbreviations.

Figure Jump LinkFigure 2  Association between symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale), quality of sleep (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), and symptoms of depression (Beck Depression Inventory) and OSA severity in patients with refractory angina. There was no significant difference between groups except for significantly higher Beck Depression Inventory score among patients with an AHI ≤ 10 events/h. *P = .003. See Figure 1 legend for expansion of abbreviation.Grahic Jump Location

Our study conveys several new data. First, OSA was more frequent in patients with refractory angina than in those with stable CAD (73% vs 54%, respectively). Second, OSA was more severe in patients with refractory angina, as measured by several parameters, including higher proportion of severe OSA, higher mean AHI, lower levels of oxygen saturation during sleep, and longer average apnea length (Table 2). Third, patients with refractory angina had higher levels of excessive daytime sleepiness, worse quality of sleep, and more symptoms of depression despite greater antidepressant use. Finally, OSA (OR = 7.91) and symptoms of depression (OR = 15.71) were independently associated with refractory angina, even after adjusting for confounding variables in multivariable analysis (Table 3).

Refractory angina remains a clinical challenge as mortality from CAD decreases and a growing number of patients with severe CAD continue to experience angina that is not amenable to CABG or percutaneous coronary revascularization, despite excellent medical therapy.14 In our study, the majority of patients (85%) had already undergone multiple interventions. All study patients had been evaluated and were considered not amenable to therapeutic interventions for anatomic reasons, including severe diffuse CAD, multiple coronary restenosis, and poor distal targets. Currently, treatment options for these patients are limited to traditional optimal medical therapy and secondary risk-factor modification. Our study patients with refractory angina were taking more medications, had lower resting BP, and had a lower proportion of current smokers (5.7% vs 48.5%) than patients with stable CAD (Table 1), indicating that they were aggressively treated and the risk factors were under control. This clinical scenario clearly indicates why new management strategies are necessary in patients with refractory angina.

The high prevalence of OSA and independent association between refractory angina and observed OSA confirm our primary hypothesis and are in concordance with previous cross-sectional studies showing that in patients with hypertension5 and metabolic syndrome,4 the worse the underlying cardiovascular disease, the higher the frequency of OSA. There is growing evidence that OSA may contribute to acceleration of atherosclerosis.25,26 OSA triggers mechanisms such as activation of sympathetic nerve activity, increasing inflammatory cytokines, and oxidative stress that may accelerate atherosclerosis.7 Moreover, treatment with CPAP attenuated signs of atherosclerosis, ameliorated arterial stiffness,26 and was associated with a decreased incidence of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events.3 Because OSA is largely underrecognized (none of our study patients had previously been referred to the sleep laboratory), our findings suggest that the recognition and treatment of OSA may contribute to a better management of patients with refractory angina.

Patients with refractory angina compared with patients with stable CAD had an average BDI score almost twice as high (19 ± 8 vs 10 ± 8, respectively; P < .001) and had a four times greater frequency of depression (64% vs 15%, respectively; P < .001) despite the fact that almost one-third were taking sertraline (27% vs 1.5%, respectively; P < .0001). Patients with refractory angina are extremely limited because they experience angina triggered by simple, daily, routine activities.27 In addition, we observed poor sleep architecture in patients with refractory angina (Table 2). OSA, poor sleep quality, and depression are tightly linked in a bidirectional manner. Poor sleep quality can be a consequence of both OSA and depression. However, in our study, we found no association between OSA and symptoms including excessive daytime sleepiness (evaluated by the ESS), sleep quality (by PSQI), and symptoms of depression (by BDI score) in patients with refractory angina. The only association observed was a higher BDI score in patients with mild forms of OSA (Fig 2), indicating no clear positive association between OSA and depression. It is important to stress that evidence is mounting that depression is an independent risk factor for future cardiac morbidity and mortality in patients with CAD. Depression was a significant predictor of mortality and cardiac events in patients undergoing CABG. One study found that depression increased the risk for nonfatal myocardial infarction or cardiac death more than fourfold in patients with unstable angina.28 Even mild depression was associated with an increased risk of mortality that persisted > 6 months following surgery. Interestingly, deleterious pathways triggered by depression are also shared by OSA and include autonomic nervous system deregulation, inflammation with increased levels of cytokines, endothelial dysfunction, and increased platelet activity and aggregation.29 Therefore, it is possible that the frequent coexistence of depression and OSA in patients with refractory angina contribute to poor cardiovascular outcome.

Similar to previous reports of consecutive patients with metabolic syndrome,30 hypertension,31 and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy,32 OSA was not associated with symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness in our group of consecutive patients with stable CAD (Fig 2). Therefore, excessive daytime sleepiness is a symptom related to the refractory angina group and not to OSA. We also found that patients with refractory angina had significantly lower sleep efficiency (64% vs 79%), lower arousal index but higher awakening index, low percentage of slow-wave sleep (3.5% vs 11%), and a higher percentage of light sleep (N1 stage: 20% vs 8%, respectively). The reasons for these differences are not completely understood. Poor sleep quality may be explained by low quality of life due to persistent angina, higher number of depression symptoms, higher use of antidepressants, and increasingly severe OSA. Our study findings highlight the complex interaction between refractory angina, depression, and poor objective sleep quality. In addition, patients with refractory angina slept on average 5 h, corresponding to about 1 h less than patients with stable CAD (Table 2). This observation may have major implications. A recent meta-analysis showed that short sleep (defined as ≤ 5 h) is associated with a relative risk of 1.48 (95% CI, 1.22-1.80) of dying or developing coronary heart disease.33

Our study has limitations. The cross-sectional nature does not allow inference of a causal relationship between OSA and refractory angina. For instance, despite all previous evidence of causal relationship between OSA and CAD, a recent cross-sectional study suggested that coronary collateral vessel development is augmented in patients with OSA.34 In addition, the refractory angina and stable CAD groups were not perfectly matched for all confounding variables that may cause OSA. However, OSA was independently associated with refractory angina on multivariate analysis. The significant finding of this study is that OSA is common in patients with refractory angina and frequently this association is neglected in clinical practice. There is sufficient information in the literature to infer that the presence of OSA is potentially harmful in patients with CAD, particularly those with refractory angina. Finally, our study showed other conditions that may potentially interact and contribute to poor cardiovascular outcome, in particular, short sleep time and depression.

OSA is extremely common and more frequent and severe in patients with refractory angina than in patients with stable CAD. Patients with refractory angina have more symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness, shorter sleep time, poor sleep architecture, and more symptoms of depression despite their greater use of antidepressants than patients with stable CAD. Given that patients with refractory angina are frequently labeled as having no options for therapy, and that both OSA and depression are largely underrecognized but may contribute to poor cardiovascular outcome in patients with CAD, future investigations are mandatory.

Author contributions: Dr Geovanini served as principal author, had full access to all of the data in the study, and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. G. R. G., L. F. D., and G. L.-F. contributed to study design; G. R. G., L. H. W. G., A. C. P., N. d. J. D.-S., L. O. C. D., N. T. P., and L. A. M. C. contributed to data collection; G. R. G. contributed to data analysis; A. C. P. contributed to statistical analysis; G. R. G., L. F. D., and G. L.-F. contributed to drafting the manuscript; and G. R. G., L. H. W. G., A. C. P., N. d. J. D.-S., L. O. C. D., N. T. P., L. A. M. C., L. F. D., and G. L.-F. approved the manuscript.

Financial/nonfinancial disclosures: The authors have reported to CHEST that no potential conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

Role of sponsors: The sponsors had no role in the design of the study, the collection and analysis of the data, or the preparation of the manuscript.

AHI

apnea-hypopnea index

BDI

Beck Depression Inventory

CABG

coronary artery bypass grafting

CAD

coronary artery disease

CCS

Canadian Cardiology Society

ESS

Epworth Sleepiness Scale

PSQI

Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index

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Figures

Figure Jump LinkFigure 1  The frequency of OSA (classified by AHI events per hour of sleep) in the refractory angina and stable CAD groups. The frequency of AHI ≥ 10, ≥ 15, and ≥ 30 events/h was significantly higher in the refractory angina group. AHI = apnea-hypopnea index; CAD = coronary artery disease.Grahic Jump Location
Figure Jump LinkFigure 2  Association between symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale), quality of sleep (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), and symptoms of depression (Beck Depression Inventory) and OSA severity in patients with refractory angina. There was no significant difference between groups except for significantly higher Beck Depression Inventory score among patients with an AHI ≤ 10 events/h. *P = .003. See Figure 1 legend for expansion of abbreviation.Grahic Jump Location

Tables

Table Graphic Jump Location
TABLE 1  ] Comparison of Baseline Characteristics Between Patients With Refractory Angina and Patients With Stable CAD

Data are given as mean ± SD or percentages. ACE = angiotensin-converting enzyme; ARB = angiotensin receptor blocker; CAD = coronary artery disease; CCB = calcium-channel blocker; HDL = high-density lipoprotein; LDL = low-density lipoprotein.

Table Graphic Jump Location
TABLE 2  ] Comparison of Sleep Characteristics Between Patients With Refractory Angina and Stable CAD

Data are given as mean ± SD or percentages. AHI = apnea-hypopnea index; AI = apnea index; BDI = Beck Depression Inventory; ESS = Epworth Sleepiness Scale; HI = hypopnea index; NREM = non-rapid eye movement; PSQI = Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; REM = rapid eye movement; Spo2 = oxygen saturation; TST = total sleep time. See Table 1 legend for expansion of other abbreviation.

a 

Stages N1, N2, and N3 represent stages of NREM sleep.

b 

Stage N3 represents slow-wave sleep.

Table Graphic Jump Location
TABLE 3  ] Factors Associated With Refractory Angina Group Evaluated by Multiple Regression Analysis

See Table 2 legend for expansion of abbreviations.

References

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