Obstructive sleep apnea and cardiovascular risks in the elderly population
Sleep disorder breathing (SDB) is a group of diseases common in the elderly population which are strongly
associated with development of cardiovascular comorbidities including stroke, heart failure, hypertension and
atrial fibrillation. Age-related anatomical and functional changes in upper airways are partially responsible for
increasing prevalence of SBD in the elderly. Full-night polysomnogram remains the gold standard in diagnostic
workup; symptoms assessment using validated scoring system such as Epworth Sleepiness Scale may
underestimate the severity of disease in the elderly population. Therapeutic approach for SDB depends on
symptoms and disease severity in addition to the presence of cardiovascular or metabolic disorders. CPAP
and NIV treatment in the elderly with associated OSA and cardiovascular disease improves quality of life and
may reduce incidence of future cardiovascular events.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
© Società Italiana di Gerontologia e Geriatria (SIGG) , 2018
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