Patients with venous thromboembolism have higher prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea than the general population
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Study Objectives: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been linked to a large number of cardiovascular diseases. However, the link between OSA and venous thromboembolic events (VTE) remains unclear. We sought to study the possible association between VTE and OSA. Design: Retrospective study (August 1999 - April 2009). Setting: University Tertiary Center. Patients: We retrospectively collected data on patients with objectively confirmed VTE. Primary outcome was prevalence of OSA defined as an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) > 5. Data on demographics and comorbidities were recorded as well as body-mass index was calculated. Measurements and Results: 840 patients were identified as having VTE and analyzed for presence/absence of co-morbidities. Of 840 patients, 130 (15.5%) were also diagnosed with OSA. Compared to the control group (no OSA), those who had OSA were more obese (83.8% versus 43.8%) and had statistically higher prevalence of diabetes, coronary artery disease (CAD), and congestive heart failure (CHF). OSA patients had higher prevalence of pulmonary embolism but similar prevalence of deep vein thrombosis. Conclusions: In this VTE cohort, the prevalence of OSA (15.5%) appears to be higher than that of the general population (2-10%). Our data suggest that patients with both OSA and VTE are more likely to be obese with diagnoses of CAD, CHF, and diabetes than their counterparts with VTE alone. OSA patients had higher prevalence of pulmonary embolism compared to controls. Although OSA has been clearly linked to arterial thrombosis, this study also suggests a link between OSA and venous thrombotic disorders.