News briefs from the December issue of Chest

December 10, 2007

BLOOD PRESSURE LOWERED WITH CPAP COMPLIANCE

A new study suggests that patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and hypertension could benefit from good continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment compliance. Researchers from Spain monitored the blood pressure of 55 patients with obstructive sleep apnea for 24 hours before CPAP treatment and after CPAP treatment. They found that while long-term CPAP therapy reduced blood pressure modestly in the whole group, patients who initially had higher blood pressure and good CPAP compliance achieved significant reductions in blood pressure. This study is published in the December issue of the journal Chest.




ORAL PREDNISOLONE PREFERRED FOR TREATMENT OF COPD EXACERBATIONS

New research from the Netherlands suggests that oral prednisolone is just as effective in treating COPD exacerbations as its intravenous counterpart. Prednisolone, which is a corticosteroid, was administered to 435 hospitalized patients; 107 received the drug intravenously and 103 received it orally. Over a 1-week period, researchers found improvement in the spirometry and health-related quality of life of both groups. The study concludes that both treatments are equally effective, but because of the administration method, oral prednisolone is preferable. This study is published in the December issue of the journal Chest.




PREDICTORS AND PREVALENCE OF DAYTIME HYPERCAPNIA

Hypercapnia is a condition in which a person experiences an excess of carbon dioxide in the blood. In a new study, Japanese researchers investigated the prevalence of daytime hypercapnia by examining patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome who visited a sleep clinic and underwent polysomnography. Of the 1,227 patients involved in the study, 14% exhibited daytime hypercapnia, and all of these patients had a significantly higher body mass index and apnea-hypopnea index. Researchers also found that, after 3 months receiving CPAP therapy, daytime hypercapnia was corrected in 51% of patients. This study is published in the December issue of the journal Chest.
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American College of Chest Physicians

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