Altered cardiovascular variability in obstructive sleep apnea

Krzysztof Narkiewicz, Nicola Montano, Chiara Cogliati, Philippe J H Van De Borne, Mark E. Dyken, Virend K. Somers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background - Altered cardiovascular variability is a prognostic indicator for cardiovascular events. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. We tested the hypothesis that OSA is accompanied by alterations in cardiovascular variability, even in the absence of overt cardiovascular disease. Methods and Results - Spectral analysis of variability of muscle sympathetic nerve activity, RR interval, and blood pressure were obtained during undisturbed supine rest in 15 patients with moderate-to-severe OSA, 18 patients with mild OSA, and 16 healthy control subjects in whom sleep disordered breathing was excluded by complete overnight polysomnography. Patients with OSA were newly diagnosed, never treated for OSA, and free of any other known diseases. Patients with moderate-to-severe OSA had shorter RR intervals (793 ± 27 ms) and increased sympathetic burst frequency (49±4 bursts/min) compared with control subjects (947±42 ms; 24±3 bursts/min; P=0.008 and P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1071-1077
Number of pages7
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Sep 15 1998


  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate
  • Nervous system, autonomic
  • Nervous system, sympathetic
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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