Information is limited about the influence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) on developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) among Asian community-dwelling populations. We examined the association between nocturnal intermittent hypoxia as a surrogate marker of OSA and the risk of CVD in a Japanese community-based cohort study.
We used baseline surveys from 2000 to 2008 to study the cohort data of 5,313 residents from three Japanese communities who were between the ages of 40 and 74 years and initially free from ischemic heart disease and stroke. We assessed the number of 3% oxygen desaturation index (ODI) as the indicator of nocturnal intermittent hypoxia. We divided individuals into two groups depending on 3% ODI (3% ODI ≥ 5 or 3% ODI <5). Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for CVD according to 3% ODI. Age, sex, body mass index, alcohol, and smoking were adjusted in the multivariable models.
During 12.8 years of the median follow-up with 66,796 person-years, 185 cases with CVD (115 stroke and 70 coronary heart disease [CHD]) were recorded. The multivariable HRs (95% CIs) were 1.49 (1.09-2.03), 2.13 (1.08-4.22), and 1.93 (1.16-3.19) for the 3% ODI ≥ 5 group versus the 3% ODI <5 group of developing CVD, lacunar infarction, and CHD, respectively.
Nocturnal intermittent hypoxia may increase the risk of developing lacunar infarction and CHD among community-dwelling Japanese populations. However, we could not find a significant risk of developing total stroke or stroke subtypes such as intraparenchymal hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and total ischemic stroke.