Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is a common condition associated with various cardiovascular diseases, including systemic arterial hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and atherosclerosis. The association between OSAS and cardiovascular disease has been related to the overlapping of risk factors, including obesity, having a sedentary lifestyle, being male, and being older. However, there is mounting evidence that OSAS can also independently contribute to the development and progression of various cardiovascular diseases. The mechanisms by which OSAS can affect the cardiovascular system are multiple, including the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, systemic inflammation, insulin resistance, and oxidative stress. There is also evidence that the treatment of OSAS with CPAP can reduce arterial blood pressure, early signs of atherosclerosis, the risk of atrial fibrillation recurrence, and mortality (principally mortality due to stroke or acute myocardial infarction) in patients with severe OSAS.
Sleep apnea, obstructive; Cardiovascular diseases; Continuous positive airway pressure