FRIDAY, Feb. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients with excessive daytime sleepiness are at a substantially increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared with individuals with other OSA subtypes, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Diego R. Mazzotti, Ph.D., from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues used data from 1,207 OSA patients to evaluate the existence of symptom subtypes and the association between these subtypes and CVD.

The researchers identified four symptom subtypes: disturbed sleep (12.2 percent), minimally symptomatic (32.6 percent), excessively sleepy (16.7 percent), and moderately sleepy (38.5 percent). There were no significant associations between subtypes and prevalent CVD. However, the excessively sleepy subtype was associated with greater than a threefold increased risk for prevalent heart failure versus the other subtypes. There was also an association between symptom subtype and incident CVD, coronary heart disease, and heart failure. Again, the excessively sleepy subtype had an increased risk compared with the other subtypes.

“OSA symptom subtypes are reproducible and associated with cardiovascular risk, providing important evidence of their clinical relevance,” the authors write.

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