For the many who suffer from interrupted sleep and are receiving benefits from Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) treatments, there may be additional and necessary steps required to support cardiovascular health. While the CPAP treatment does help reduce snoring, improve sleep quality, and overall well-being; recent studies show that it cannot be relied upon solely for cardiovascular event prevention.
A recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine included nearly 3,000 adults with a prior heart attack or stroke and moderate to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea. While the treatment was not shown to prevent cardiovascular events, the subjects did show benefits including elevated mood and increase in work productivity.
Symptoms such as snoring and disrupted sleep and others are exhibited by those with cardiovascular disease however a comprehensive plan must be put together with a physician to support overall health alleviating the bothersome symptoms as well as reducing the risk for cardiovascular events.
Despite the recent news regarding cardiovascular event prevention, CPAP can still be considered as an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Air is pushed into the back of the throat and the airway is splinted open to allow for inhaling and exhaling air. Ideal pressure is typically determined during a sleep study where the patient would spend the night at a Sleep Center facility while the measurements take place. Advanced technology is developing ways for new machines to use algorithms and pressure sensors to measure and determine the best pressure.
What options do we have for cardiovascular disease prevention ?
While CPAP is not considered part of our defense, exercise, a nutritious diet and healthy habits such as stress management are in our corner still. The American Heart Association provides helpful tips on how we can prevent cardiovascular disease at any age:
Generous amounts of fruits and vegetables
Fiber rich whole grains
Oily fish (at least twice per week)
Nuts, legumes & seeds
Lower fat dairy products and poultry (skinless)
Low Saturated Fat, Trans Fat and Sodium
Sugar sweetened beverages
Red Meat (select the leanest cuts available)
Learn the warning signs of a heart attack or stroke. Introduce vegetarian meals from time to time into your diet. This is an excellent opportunity to experiment with recipes and try new things as well as share them with others.We are united in the battle against cardiovascular disease and there is no age too early to start. Taking steps and providing support to friends and family is a helping hand towards achieving prevention together.
Whether it is you or a loved one who faces Obstructive Sleep Apnea, know you are not alone! While prevention is the best medicine, even a short visit from a medical professional can make a difference. At Nurseregistry.com; whether you need 24/7 live in care, or a quick visit from an experienced R.N. to ensure your medical devices are properly managed, we are here to help!