Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Older Men With Breathing Problems During Sleep More Likely To Have Irregular Heartbeats

Date:
June 30, 2009
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Increasingly severe sleep-related breathing disorders in older men appear to be associated with a greater risk of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), according to a new article. In addition, different types of breathing problems appear more closely associated with different categories of arrhythmia.

Increasingly severe sleep-related breathing disorders in older men appear to be associated with a greater risk of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), according to a new report. In addition, different types of breathing problems appear more closely associated with different categories of arrhythmia.

Related Articles


Sleep-disordered breathing is a common condition, according to background information in the article. It causes a number of physiologic events that could be stressful to the cardiovascular system, including inadequate blood oxygen levels at night and activation of the sympathetic nervous system (associated with the body's fight-or-flight response).

Reena Mehra, M.D., M.S., of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, and colleagues studied 2,911 men who underwent sleep testing by polysomnography between 2003 and 2005. The number of times they experienced apnea (brief pauses in breathing) or hypopnea (shallow breathing) during sleep was recorded, as were any periods of time in which the oxygen level of blood in their arteries dipped below 90 percent (hypoxia).

Having more episodes of paused or shallow breathing was associated with increased odds of two types of arrhythmias—one involving the heart's upper chambers (atria) and one involving the heart's lower chambers (ventricles). Obstructive sleep apnea—the most common type, involving a partial or complete blockage of the airways—was associated with irregular heartbeats caused by a problem with the lower chambers or ventricles. Lower blood oxygen levels also appeared to be associated with this type of arrhythmia. However, central sleep apnea, involving a malfunction in brain signals controlling breathing muscles, was more strongly associated with arrhythmias in the atria or upper chambers.

More severe cases of sleep-disordered breathing were associated with higher odds of arrhythmia; in addition, "there also seems to be a threshold effect such that moderate-to-severe sleep-disordered breathing confers the greatest increased odds of clinically significant arrhythmias independent of self-reported heart failure and cardiovascular disease," the authors write.

"This line of investigation also identified hypoxia as the possible culprit pathophysiologic characteristic of sleep-disordered breathing that may serve as the trigger of ventricular cardiac arrhythmia development in older men. The strong associations between central sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation [arrhythmia originating in the heart's upper chambers] suggest that central sleep apnea may be a sensitive marker of underlying abnormalities in autonomic or cardiac dysfunction associated with atrial fibrillation," they conclude. "Further prospective and intervention studies are needed to better determine causality and the impact of aggressive sleep-disordered breathing interventions on cardiac outcomes."

Co-author Dr. Varosy has performed research consulting for Atricure, Cierra and BioNova, and has received honoraria from Sanofi-Aventis and Boston Scientific.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Reena Mehra, MD, MS; Katie L. Stone, PhD; Paul D. Varosy, MD; Andrew R. Hoffman, MD; Gregory M. Marcus, MD, MAS; Terri Blackwell, MA; Osama A. Ibrahim, MD; Rawan Salem, RPSGT; Susan Redline, MD, MPH. Nocturnal Arrhythmias Across a Spectrum of Obstructive and Central Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Older Men Outcomes of Sleep Disorders in Older Men (MrOS Sleep) Study. Arch Intern Med., 2009;169(12):1147-1155 [link]

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Older Men With Breathing Problems During Sleep More Likely To Have Irregular Heartbeats." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090622163023.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2009, June 30). Older Men With Breathing Problems During Sleep More Likely To Have Irregular Heartbeats. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090622163023.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Older Men With Breathing Problems During Sleep More Likely To Have Irregular Heartbeats." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090622163023.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins