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Feature Article

Cardiovascular consequences of sleep apnoea: beyond its respiratory manifestations

Kim H Chan, Ian Wilcox

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Abstract

Sleep apnoea remains an under-recognised condition. Although it presents with a wide range of symptoms, both respiratory and nonrespiratory, its most serious associations are heart related. Early identification and treatment of people with sleep apnoea has the potential to not only improve quality of life but also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Key Points

  • Sleep apnoea is a common but remains an under-recognised condition.
  • The most serious associations of sleep apnoea are cardiovascular.
  • Preliminary studies suggest that treatment of sleep apnoea may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Further studies are required before the treatment of sleep apnoea can be incorporated into cardiovascular guidelines.

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