Heart failure readmissions 'could be reduced by treating sleep apnoea'

27 January 2016

The number of patients readmitted for heart failure treatment could be reduced by addressing signs of sleep apnoea, according to a new study.

Conducted by Thomas Jefferson University, the research screened 75 patients admitted to hospital with heart failure for underlying sleep-disordered breathing, a relatively common condition that affects men more than women.

A total of 70 were diagnosed with sleep-disordered breathing. Over the next six months, the team tracked these patients compliance with positive airway pressure therapy, as well as their rates of emergency room visits and hospital readmissions.

By comparing pre- and post-treatment readmissions in compliant and noncompliant patients, a reduction in hospital visits was observed for those who stuck to their sleep apnoea treatment regimen over a period of six months.

Findings such as these could be evidence of the need for cost-effective screening programmes to catch sleep apnoea among hospitalised high-risk patients.

Dr Sunil Sharma, associate professor of pulmonary medicine at Thomas Jefferson University's Sidney Kimmel Medical College, said: "Physicians should be on the lookout for sleep apnoea in patients with heart failure with the goal of diagnosing and treating early, which might help prevent readmissions and emergency room visits."

Posted by Jeanette Royston

 


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