OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA ACCELERATES FEV1 DECLINE IN ASTHMATIC PATIENTS

FCAAIA Notes: As I’ve written before, “The nose bone’s connected to the lung bone.”  Asthma is part of “allergic airway disease” and control of the lower airway (lungs) always requires that we consider the upper air way (nose) as well. So, we treat nasal allergies even if the symptoms are relatively mild and not bothersome.

Here it also becomes clear that patients with asthma who also have sleep apnea (do you snore loudly, a lot, and sometimes startle awake gasping for a breath?) should address the apnea to help control their asthma.

By the way, if you were wondering, FEV1 is the amount of air you can fore out in 1 second.  It is one of the numbers we check when we do a lung function test on you in the office.

(Source: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/879031?nlid=114878_3821&src=WNL_mdplsfeat_170512_mscpedit_aimm&uac=112079PK&spon=38&impID=1346880&faf=1 May 12, 2017.  For Medscape articles: User name: FCAAIA, Password: Allergies)

Abstract

Background: Although the prevalence of both obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and asthma are both increasing, little is known about the impact of OSA on the natural history of lung function in asthmatic patients.

Methods: A total of 466 patients from our sleep laboratory were retrospectively enrolled. Of them, 77 patients (16.5%) had asthma with regular follow-up for more than 5 years. Their clinical characteristics, pulmonary function, emergency room visits, and results of polysomnography results were analyzed.

Results: The patients were divided into three groups according to the severity of the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). The decline in FEV1 among asthma patients with severe OSA (AHI > 30/h) was 72.4 ± 61.7 ml/year (N = 34), as compared to 41.9 ± 45.3 ml/year (N = 33, P = 0.020) in those with mild to moderate OSA (5 < AHI ≤ 30) and 24.3 ± 27.5 ml/year (N = 10, P = 0.016) in those without OSA (AHI ≤ 5). For those patients with severe OSA, the decline of FEV1 significantly decreased after continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment. After multivariate stepwise linear regression analysis, only AHI was remained independent factor for the decline of FEV1 decline.

Conclusions: Asthmatic patients with OSA had substantially greater declines in FEV1 than those without OSA. Moreover, CPAP treatment alleviated the decline of FEV1 in asthma patients with severe OSA.

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