It’s well established that obstructive sleep apnea and dyslipidemia are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Now, new research shows evidence of a connection between the two. A cross-sectional analysis of 8,592 patients in the European Sleep Apnea Database turned up a dose response relationship between total cholesterol and oxygen desaturation index (ODI). Breaking down the total cholesterol finding further, triglycerides and LDL concentrations were predicted better by apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) than by ODI. HDL was significantly reduced in the highest AHI quartile (48.8 ± 1.49 in quartile I, compared with 46.50 ± 1.48 in quartile IV; P=0.002. Morbid obesity was associated with lower total cholesterol and higher HDL. Ultimately, the authors concluded that the severity of obstructive sleep apnea was independently associated with cholesterol and TG concentrations. The take-home is that it may be prudent to consider assessing patients’ lipid levels if they are known to have sleep apnea, or present with symptoms suggesting sleep apnea.

Check Cholesterol in Patients with Sleep Apnea
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