On Monday, Aug. 15, National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and NPR’s health blog “Shots” focused on the importance of the consistent use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy for obstructive sleep apnea. The story was sparked by a study published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
The Swiss and U.K. study evaluated the effects of CPAP withdrawal over a period of two weeks. Results show that CPAP withdrawal led to a rapid recurrence of OSA and a return of subjective sleepiness. It also caused a decrease in endothelial function, as well as an increase in morning blood pressure and heart rate.
AASM president Dr. Nancy Collop told NPR that the study is a reminder that CPAP needs to be used every night. “CPAP is a treatment, not a cure,” she said.