Service de Physiologie Clinique et de l'Exercice, CHU Nord, Saint-Etienne, EA SNA EPIS 4607, Faculté de Médecine Jacques Lisfranc, Université de Lyon, Université Jean Monnet, 42023, Saint-Etienne, France. [Email]
BACKGROUND : Several studies suggest in middle-aged subjects a relationship between arterial stiffness, a cardiovascular risk marker, and moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). No extensive data are present in older subjects. This study explores this association in a sample of healthy older subjects suffering OSA. METHODS : A total of 101 volunteers aged 75.3 ± 0.7 years were examined at the hospital sleep center. Each subject was assessed for medical history, body mass index and 24-h blood pressure measures, biological blood samples, and home polygraphy in 2002-2003 (P2) as well as in 2009-2010 (P4). Arterial stiffness was also assessed using carotid-femoral and carotid-radial pulse wave velocity (cfPWV and crPWV) during P4 examination. RESULTS : The total group consisted of 59 women and 42 men with a mean apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of 17.8 ± 12.1 and a mean oxygen desaturation index (ODI) of 9.8 ± 8.9. No-OSA (AHI < 15) represented 50% of the sample, and severe cases (AHI > 30) 17%. No significant differences had been founded between men and women for blood pressure, cfPWV, and crPWV. Considering the severity of the AHI, no significant differences between groups were present for PWV and blood pressure values. No difference for PWV was present for subjects with and without hypertension. No correlation was found between PWV value and AHI and ODI values at P2 or between P2 and P4 visits. cfPWV was higher in patients demonstrating incident hypertension during the follow-up. CONCLUSIONS : In this sample of older subjects, PWV is not affected by AHI and ODI but was associated with incident hypertension. These results may suggest potential protective and adaptive mechanisms in older sleep apnea patients. UNASSIGNED : NCT 00759304 and NCT 00766584 .