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Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Display Decreased Flow-Mediated Dilatation: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis

Yuyu Wang, Huajun Xu, Yingjun Qian, Jian Guan, Hongliang Yi, Shankai Yin

(Department of Otolaryngology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People’s Hospital, shanghai, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:1069-1082

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.899716

Published: 2017-02-28

BACKGROUND: Endothelial dysfunction, which can be measured by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), is an early clinical marker of atherosclerosis, which is considered to be the main cause of the observed cardiovascular complications in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients. The association between OSA and endothelial dysfunction has been reported in a number of studies; however, the findings are not entirely consistent. Our aim was to meta-analytically synthesize the existing evidence to explore the association between OSA and endothelial dysfunction.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data from PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane library, and Google Scholar for all trials that investigated the relationship between endothelial dysfunction and OSA were systematically reviewed. The minimum inclusion criteria for the studies were reporting of the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) and FMD measurements (as an indicator of endothelial dysfunction) for both OSA and control groups. Data from case-control studies that met the inclusion criteria were extracted.
RESULTS: Twenty-eight studies comprising a total of 1496 OSA patients and 1135 controls were included in the meta-analysis. A random-effects model was used. The weighted mean difference in the FMD measurements was –3.07 and the 95% confidence interval was –3.71 to –2.43 (P<0.01). Meta-regression analysis showed that age, sex, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, glucose, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol did not explain the heterogeneity.
CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis showed that patients with OSA have decreased FMD, which may contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.

Keywords: Sleep apnea, obstructive, Meta-Analysis as Topic, atherosclerosis