The use of positive airway pressure (PAP) to treat sleep apnea does not reduce the risk of cardiovascular events and death, a new analysis suggests.
In a meta-analysis of 10 randomized clinical trials comprising more than 7000 patients, PAP was not associated with a reduction in major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), cardiovascular death, all-cause death, stroke, or heart failure compared with no or sham treatment.
"While sleep apnea is clearly associated in observational studies with risks of cardiovascular disease, it doesn't seem as if those risks can be reversed by treating people with PAP," coauthor Dr Bruce Neal, the George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, said in an interview.
"Whether that's because our treatment method with PAP isn't very good or whether the association that we see in the observational studies is being driven by something else isn't really clear to us," Neal said.
The results were published online July 11, 2017 in JAMA.