Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.

L. Michael Prisant, Thomas A. Dillard, Amy R. Blanchard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is caused by upper airway collapse during inspiration, causing intermittent hypoxemia, hypercapnia, acidosis, sympathetic nervous system activation, and arousal from sleep. Nighttime blood pressure is higher, but unexpectedly, daytime hypertension occurs. The prevalence of hypertension is very high and the incidence of hypertension increases as the number of apneic and hypopneic events per hour rises. Obesity is a major predisposing factor for the development of obstructive sleep apnea. Daytime sleepiness, snoring, and breathing pauses are important symptoms to elicit from the patient or sleep partner. Resistant hypertension is an important clue. Overnight polysomnography is required for diagnosis. Weight loss, avoidance of nocturnal sedatives, cessation of evening alcohol ingestion, and avoidance of the supine position during sleep are initial therapeutic actions in mild obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Continuous positive airway pressure is the treatment of choice for patients unable to find relief from lifestyle changes. Blood pressure modestly improves with treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)746-750
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of clinical hypertension (Greenwich, Conn.)
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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