• Carotid Artery Wall Thickness in Obese and Non-obese Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Before and Following Positive Airway Pressure Treatment

      Kim, Jinyoung; Mohler, Emile R.; Keenan, Brendan T.; Maislin, David; Arnardottir, Erna Sif; Gislason, Thorarinn; Benediktsdottir, Bryndis; Gudmundsdottir, Sigrun; Sifferman, Andrea; Staley, Bethany; et al. (Oxford University Press, 2017-07-27)
      STUDY OBJECTIVES: Debate persists as to whether obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis. The purpose of this study was to compare carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), an early sign of atherosclerosis, in obese and nonobese adults with OSA before and following positive airway pressure (PAP) treatment. METHODS: A total of 206 adults newly diagnosed with OSA with an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of 15-75 events/hour and 53 controls with AHI <10 were studied. Waist circumference was used to classify participants as obese and nonobese. Bilateral common carotid artery B-mode ultrasound was performed at baseline to assess IMT, arterial diameter, arterial-wall mass, and circumferential wall stress. Measurements were repeated in 118 participants with OSA who completed a 4-month PAP treatment and had an average daily use over that period of ≥4 hours/day. RESULTS: No significant differences in carotid IMT, diameter, or arterial-wall mass were present at baseline between participants with OSA and controls stratified by waist circumference, after adjusting for other cardiovascular risk factors. In participants with OSA, who had adequate PAP adherence over the 4-month treatment, carotid artery diameter significantly increased (mean change [95% confidence interval] = 0.13 [0.06, 0.20] mm; p = .0004), but no significant changes in carotid IMT, arterial-wall mass, and circumferential stress were observed in obese and nonobese participants. CONCLUSIONS: Regardless of obesity status, carotid IMT is not increased in adults with moderate to severe OSA versus controls and does not change following 4 months of PAP treatment.